Archive 3: 2010

Shows Available from Pirate Television

Pirate Television is a weekly 58 min Public Access Television program broadcast in Seattle Washington USA.  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.

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 tapes for a $20 donation (includes postage).  To obtain videotapes or DVDs, contact us first by email:


We like to expand Pirate Television to other broadcast venues.  If you would like to get on the Pirate Television schedule notification list-serve, or if you have questions, drop us a line.

DVDs of most of the recent Pirate TV shows are available.

This is a list of the material that was produced by us and does not include all the fantastic documentaries and other materials that we have broadcast.  Tapes of the actual event footage not edited are also available in most cases but not in DVD format.  If you are interested in a complete list of the actual shows for purposes of broadcast on other television stations, please contact us.  This material is also available in audio form for broadcast on the radio. 

Programs are listed in reverse chronological order.

[List 9]  January 11, 2010 to December 27, 2010:

Wendell Potter: Corporate PR is Killing Healthcare, Monday 12/27/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
Wendell Potter: Corporate PR is Killing Healthcare, TRT 1:08 recorded 12/8/10
As Vice President of corporate communications at CIGNA, Wendell Potter managed public relations for one of the biggest HMOs in the country.  He gradually became increasingly appalled by the effect of the for-profit healthcare system on ordinary Americans and the PR machinations funded by increasingly unaffordable premiums.  In 2007 he resigned and became a whistleblower.  He made national headlines with his scorching testimony before the Senate panel on health-care reform in June 2009.  Now a senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity [PRWatch.org], he is here to talk about his metamorphosis and his book: Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and University Bookstore

George Galloway: Stop the Witch-Hunt, Monday 12/20/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
George Galloway: Stop the Witch-Hunt, TRT :58 recorded 12/11/10
Former British MP George Galloway was scheduled to give this talk in person at a fund raising event for the Muslim Legal Fund of America last Saturday [12/11/10] but for some strange reason, the US wouldn't allow him in the country.  Mr. Galloway was banned from Canada until late this year for his supposed support of Hamas [the elected Palestinian government].  A Canadian federal court recently threw out the ban determining that Ottawa’s decision to stop Mr. Galloway from speaking was politically motivated and done to suppress his opinions.  Since the US Government seems determined to censor Mr. Galloway, we are going to broadcast his talk which was recorded off of a cell phone before the audience at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Bellevue.

The "witch- hunt" against Mr. Galloway is part and parcel of a much broader racist witch-hunt being conducted by the US government against people of Muslim descent as evidenced by a spate of recent cases involving FBI manufactured terrorist "plots".

Muslims are having their rights and freedoms challenged in America.  Charities are shut down and money seized.  Muslims are being detained and interrogated for hours about their constitutionally-protected political views and religious beliefs. Organizations and individuals are being publicly smeared for political reasons.  Parents are being deported, families torn apart and communities disrupted.

These challenges are being answered by the generous supporters of the Muslim Legal Fund of America.  MLFA funds legal battles that impact the American Muslim community.  In doing so, MLFA is helping set legal precedents that reaffirm the rule of law and the principles of justice our Founding Fathers fought so hard to establish.

This show opens with a fiery speech by attorney Charlie Swift.  In 2006, Charles retired from the U.S. Navy, where for the last 13 years he worked in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), in addition to his service as a surface warfare officer. While in the JAG Corps, he worked principally in the area of criminal defense, earning a reputation as a premier trial attorney.

During his tenure, Charles was involved in litigation in some of the highest profile cases in the U.S. military, from defense of the Navy’s use of the Vieques bombing range in Puerto Rico against environmental litigation, to defending senior military officers in complex criminal cases.  Most noteworthy is his quest for justice at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, concluding with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.
Following his military career, Charles was a visiting professor and head of the Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia, before leaving to enter private practice in Seattle.  

George Galloway is a British politician, author, broadcaster and former Member of Parliament.  He is the founder of the Respect Party and is a peace advocate.  He is most known for his outspoken views on Palestinian rights.  Mr. Galloway is an avid supporter of MLFA and is coming to speak about important issues affecting you. Don’t miss this opportunity to listen to a world-renowned activist speak about his experiences on the front lines of the fight for peace, liberty and equal justice for all.

Thanks to the Muslim Legal Fund of America

Chris Hedges: Death of the Liberal Class, Monday 12/13/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
Chris Hedges: Death of the Liberal Class TRT 1:10 recorded 12/2/10
The liberal class plays a vital role in a democracy, says Chris Hedges, but once it loses its social and political role, it—along with the values it espouses—becomes irrelevant, ridiculed, even hated. Picking up where Empire of Illusion left off, Hedges, author of The Death of the Liberal Class, argues that the traditional pillars of the liberal class—the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities, and the Democratic Party—are now more concerned with status and privilege than justice and progress: They have sold out.

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and Elliott Bay Books

Dominic Holden, Mike McGinn, Mike O'Brien, Eric de Place, & Drew Paxton: What the State Won't Tell You About the Deep-Bore Tunnel, Monday 12/6/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
Dominic Holden, Mike McGinn,, Mike O'Brien, Eric de Place, & Drew Paxton: What the State Won't Tell You About the Deep-Bore Tunnel TRT 1:30 recorded 12/1/10
Stranger News Editor Dominic Holden moderates this panel
with Mayor Mike McGinn, Councilmember Mike O'Brien, Eric de Place (senior researcher for the Sightline Institute), and Drew Paxton (Move Seattle Smarter).

Last July The Stranger did a special issue on the deep-bore tunnel.  Dominic Holden wrote three articles exposing all the things that could go wrong [any of which has the potential to bankrupt the city] as well as the cesspool of deceit and corruption surrounding the history of the viaduct replacement process.  It may be helpful to remember that Seattle residents in their wisdom voted against the tunnel [70%-30%], and elected an anti-tunnel mayor.   We also voted for a monorail [5 times].  -So much for democracy.

This eye-opening panel, called by Dominic Holden was originally planned as a debate but for some strange reason, none of the politicians or policymakers who support the tunnel apparently wanted to show their face in public.  This includes the majority of City Council members and other than Mike O'Brian -a tunnel opponent, were represented by a series of empty chairs.

New information since The Stranger's exposé only adds to the controversy.  A Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement published in October found that the 4 dollar toll that will have to be charged to pay for the thing will eliminate two thirds of the traffic that would normally use the viaduct causing horrific congestion downtown and on I-5. 

So what's the point of the tunnel?  This may be one of the questions you will ask in your letter to the
Washington Department of Transportation which is accepting public comment on the project until December 13th.  Also in the works are a couple of initiatives, one by SCAT [Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel] and one by Move Seattle Smarter attempting to protect Seattle taxpayers from the inevitable cost overruns.

Thanks to The Stranger and Seattle Town Hall
Camera by Landon Hendee

Rick Steves, Dr. Stephen Gloyd, & William Gates Sr.: UN Millennium Development Goals: Engaging America, Monday 11/29/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
Steves, Gloyd, & Gates: UN Millennium Development Goals: Engaging America TRT :58 recorded 10/24/10
These three talks were recorded at the 65th Annual United Nations Day (Oct. 24th) dinner presented by the United Nations Association of Greater Seattle.  The theme of the event focused on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which call for the elimination of global poverty by 2015.

Rick Steves, host of the public television series Rick Steves' Europe, explains in his usual colorful way why even if you are motivated only by greed "you don't want to be filthy rich in a desperately poor world."

Dr. Stephen Gloyd, UW Professor of Global Health, returning to Pirate TV, diagnoses the underlying cause of the problem.  He explains that in order to have any hope of achieving the MDGs we will have to dismantle the Neo-liberal economic paradigm, reverse the IMF's Structural Adjustment Programs and cancel third world debt.  Right on revolutionary brother Gloyd!  Maybe we should try that here.

William Gates Sr., talks about the importance of the UN and the MDGs.

There was another talk by Tim Hanstad, President and CEO of the Rural Development Institute which will be broadcast at a later date.

United Nations Millennium Development Goals:

In September 2000, 189 world leaders met at the UN and endorsed the Millennium Declaration to “create an environment—at the national and global levels alike—which is conducive to development and to the elimination of poverty.” They also included in the declaration a set of clear, time-bound, and measurable development targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, and environmental degradation, among others. 

Subsequently referred to as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), these targets provide a common global development strategy that has generated an unprecedented level of coordinated action within the UN system, the donor community, and developing countries.

Goal 1:
Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
By 2015, halve the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day and those who suffer from hunger.

Goal 2:
Achieve Universal Primary Education
By 2015, ensure that all boys and girls complete primary school.

Goal 3:
Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.

Goal 4:
Reduce Child Mortality
By 2015, reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five.

Goal 5:
Improve Maternal Health
By 2015, reduce by three quarters the ratio of women who die during childbirth.

Goal 6
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases
By 2015, halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources. By 2015, halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. By 2020, achieve significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

Goal 8:
Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory, and includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction – nationally and internationally.
Address the special needs of the least developed countries, including tariff- and quota-free access for their exports, enhanced debt relief, and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction.
Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing states.
Deal comprehensively with developing countries' debt problems.
Develop decent and productive work for youth.
In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries. 
In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies – especially information and communications technologies.

Thanks to the UNA


George Hunsinger: Unfinished Business: Stopping Torture Forever, Monday 11/22/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
George Hunsinger: Unfinished Business: Stopping Torture Forever, TRT: 1:30 recorded 10/16/10
George Bush knows he's above the law and he apparently doesn't care if you know it.  In fact, he's rubbing your nose in it.  He's openly admitted that he personally ordered torture (a felony and a war crime) in his book.   He's not afraid of being prosecuted for that and he's not even worried about open plagiarism since he ripped off huge portions of his book from Bob Woodward among others.

Now is as good a time as any to broadcast this talk from George Hunsinger, theologian, anti-war & human rights activist, and co-founder of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.  The ordained Presbyterian minister and professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, is the editor of Torture Is a Moral Issue: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and People of Conscience Speak Out.

Join us for an in depth examination of the Bush era war crimes and the prospect for the return of democracy to the USA.

This talk was presented by WSRCAT, the Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture a project of Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Roger Pielke: Repairing Climate Policy, Monday 11/15/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
Roger Pielke: Repairing Climate Policy, TRT: 1:26 recorded 10/18/10
Why can’t the world successfully address global warming? Science-policy expert Roger Pielke says it’s not the fault of those who reject the Kyoto Protocol, but those who support it and the magical thinking it represents. Pielke, author of The Climate Fix, says that to repair climate policy, we need to shift the debate from meaningless targets toward a revolution in how the world’s economy is powered, neutralizing the venomous politics surrounding the crisis.

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and University Bookstore

Ted Rall: The Anti-American Manifesto, Monday 11/8/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
Ted Rall: The Anti-American Manifesto, TRT: 1:20 recorded 10/13/10
Cartoonist, columnist, author, and occasional reporter Ted Rall takes a humorous but sober look at the prospects for solutions to the serious and daunting problems facing our collapsing political and economic systems and comes up with the unthinkable: The only hope lies in revolution.  For this he wisely anticipates his coming branding as "anti-American" so he concludes: "Why not just go with it?"

The surprising thing is that although this may not be all that unthinkable to us seasoned radicals here in the free speech pen, he says it's not that hard a sell to just about every audience he's talked to.  It's pretty obvious, isn't it?  Ted Rall may just be the Tom Paine of our age.

Thanks to Elliott Bay Bookstore
Camera by Todd Boyle

Thaddeus Russell: A Renegade History of the United States, Monday 11/1/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
Thaddeus Russell: A Renegade History of the United States, TRT: 1:10 recorded 10/13/10
Renegade historian Thaddeus Russell is definitely off the reservation.  Be sure to lock the kids in their room.  This talk takes us even farther down the path of exploding the mythic history they taught us in grade school.

So you thought that the idea of the "vacation" came from trade unionists?   Would you believe it came from slaves?   Russell says that slaves had more power over their masters than we might think.  They were prone to take off for weeks, sometimes years at a time back when such thoughts never occurred to white people.

So you thought sexual liberation came from feminists in the 1960s?  Try prostitutes in the 1800s.   Hookers were in many ways the first truly liberated women in America as well as the most affluent at a time when women were considered as property and forbidden to own any.

Thaddeus illustrates that many of the freedoms we take for granted today came not from "do-gooders" but from derelicts & dregs and other assorted "low-lifes" who probably never thought of organizing and may never have set foot in a voting booth (if they could).  Yet they collectively asserted more influence.  This is because social movements are much more powerful than law.  I feel better already.  Professor Russell: Anything in your book about Pirates?

Thaddeus Russell has taught at Occidental College, Columbia, The New School, and Barnard, his new book is A Renegade History of the United States.

Thanks to Elliott Bay Bookstore
Camera by Todd Boyle

Peter Ward: Our Flooding World, Monday 10/25/10 8-9pm PST, Rebroadcast Wed. at Noon

Peter Ward: Our Flooding World, TRT: :58 recorded 10/13/10
University of Washington paleontologist Peter Ward is one of the world's leading experts on the mass extinction events that delineate the geologic record.  His thesis that all the mass extinctions (save the one that divides the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods and killed off the dinosaurs) were brought on by rapid climate change much like what we ourselves have initiated has become established science in the last few years.  His 2007 book: Under a Green Sky is about how he unearthed the evidence that changed the scientific paradigm ending the debate on what caused the myriad mass extinctions of eons past and gives powerful insight into our likely fate if we are unable to force necessary changes in time.

The writer of 15 books on popular science, Professor Ward does not confine himself to the ivory tower.  Neither does he apparently feel comfortable containing himself in one scientific field.  He is also a professor of biology and of earth and space sciences and serves as an adjunct professor of zoology and astronomy.  His career has included teaching posts and professional connections with Ohio State University, the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the University of Calgary, McMaster University, and the California Institute of Technology.  He was elected as a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences in 1984.

Dr. Ward's broad scientific background and his work in understanding the mechanisms by which climate change destabilized the biosphere leading to mass extinctions in the past puts him on the cutting edge of what we know about global warming.

In this program, Professor Ward turns our attention to sea-level rise and examines the consequences of varying sea-level rises on civilization.  He brings this home as he examines some of the effects it will have here in Seattle.  His latest book is The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps.

Thanks to the Foundation For the Future, the Elliott Bay Book Company and Town Hall Seattle

Markos Moulitsas: American Taliban, Monday 10/18/10 8-9pm PST
Markos Moulitsas: American Taliban, TRT: :58 recorded 10/3/10
People zonked out on right wing religion and all the other pathologies that make up the belief system of the radical right are addicted, no less so than people who are addicted to gambling or any other kind of addiction.  Therefore, denial comes right along with it.  This answers a lot of questions.  This is why if you try to reason with them like: "Why are you such a dangerous bone head? Can't you see you are killing your brain? You are destroying the happiness of everyone that loves you. Why don't you get a grip and kick that crap?" -it just makes them cling to it even worse.

You can't reason with them even using maximum reasonableness.  Shaming them or laughing at them doesn't even work.  They've got that siege mentality thing.  It's part of their denial system.  Satan and the "social justice conspiracy" are out to get them.  Not to mention all those other people who don't want to think like or be ruled by them.  Wow!  They're just like all those other addicted whackos!

So if reasoning or even making fun of them is pointless, can't we poke fun at them just to maintain our own sanity?  Aaah, why not?  Here to help us have a laugh at dangerous whackos everywhere is the founder and publisher of the blog Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas.  Markos's new book is: American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right.

Thanks to Elliott Bay Books and Seattle Town Hall
Video by Todd Boyle

Fatima Bhutto: Songs of Blood and Sword, Monday 10/11/10 8-9pm PST
Fatima Bhutto: Songs of Blood and Sword, TRT: 1:50 recorded 10/2/10
Published Poet, journalist and author, Fatima Bhutto is the granddaughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's first elected president and founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan who was overthrown and executed.  Her Aunt, Benazir Bhutto,
Zulfikar's daughter served twice as Prime Minister, as well as 5 years in prison and was assassinated on December 27, 2007.   Her Father Murtaza Bhutto was murdered by the police in 1996.  Many other members of the Bhutto family have been variously executed, murdered, and assassinated, as were numerous others who worked with or for them.

This sordid history of Pakistan's dynasty is also the story of Pakistan's 63 year turbulent history and Fatima Bhutto is the only one who can tell it.  Dubbed: "Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's Memoir", it has been called a searing, astonishing book.  As you will see, Fatima is also an astonishing personage of extraordinary courage.

Thanks to Elliott Bay Books and Seattle Town Hall

Cian Prendiville: The Case for Socialism, Monday 10/4/10 8-9pm PST

Cain Prendiville: The Socialist Alternative, TRT: 1:50 recorded 9/29/10
Over two years into the “Great Recession,” it’s clear we face a bleak future of unemployment, budget cuts, environmental destruction, discrimination, and war. Yet from Athens to Arizona and from Brazil to Berlin, a new generation is moving into struggle against the impacts of the crisis. Global capitalism is increasingly recognized as the root problem, but what is the alternative? Could socialism resolve the burning problems we face? And how could it be achieved? Hear the Socialist perspective from activist Cian Pendiville, Socialist Party candidate for Parliament in Southern Ireland.

Thanks to The Socialist Alternative

Recorded by Landon Hendee

Robert Scheer: The Culprits Behind Our Collapse, Monday 9/20/10 8-9 PM PST
Robert Scheer: The Culprits Behind Our Collapse, TRT: 1:28 recorded 9/9/10

The day of his book release Robert Scheer was on Democracy Now!   The next day his book was the number one best seller on Amazon.  The day after that he was speaking before a packed house downstairs at the Town Hall in Seattle.  This proves two things: the power of independent media and that a lot of people want to hear what the editor-in-chief of Truthdig has to say.

What he is saying is that the crash of 2008 that melted down the world economy followed up by the multi-trillion dollar Wall Street "bail-out"  was nothing but an old fashioned swindle engineered by the crème de la crème of swindlers: politicians and banksters.

We like to blame the usual suspects (Republicans like Phil and Wendy Gramm) for these kinds of capers, but in truth it was a bi-partisan affair. And what's worse, the crooks are still hold up in the vault with the money.  That would include Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson from Goldman Sachs, and Lawrence Summers the former Treasury Secretary.

Hey!  How'd those slime balls get in there anyway?  And how come they're not in jail?

Robert Scheer is author of: "The Great American StickUp" and many other fine books including "Thinking Tuna Fish, Talking Death: Essays on the Pornography of Power"; "With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush and Nuclear War" and "America After Nixon: The Age of Multinationals."

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and University Bookstore

David Callahan: The New Liberal Rich, Monday 9/13/10 8-9 PM PST
David Callahan: The New Liberal Rich, TRT: 1:12 recorded 9/7/10

In May, Ralph Nader was here talking about his "nonfiction novel" whereby he imagines what would happen if a small group of extremely wealthy liberals [whom he names] “...decided to work for the collective good?”  Knowing Ralph, and the title of his book "Only the Super-Rich Can Save US!", I can't help thinking that what he was up to may have been a little more than imagining.

In his latest book, "Fortunes of Change", David Callahan, co-founder of the progressive think tank Demos, takes a look at this from a different angle.  That is: he's not imagining.  In this book he documents a demographic shift among the country's extreme wealthy elite that has been ongoing for some time now.  The right wing old wealth ideologues of the industrial age are being replaced by a class of better educated socially liberal billionaires from the financial and technology sectors.  As he demonstrates by way of example, they are already pouring huge sums into progressive political causes.  In fact, Wall Street, the banks and other sectors which we traditionally expect to put their money on Republicans, invested in Obama last time by huge margins.

But in this context, what does the word "liberal" mean?  Indeed many of the "owners" have apparently become so radicalized that they want to save us (and themselves) from extinction.  Some of them even bankroll legalization of Gay marriage, Marijuana decriminalization, and a return to [them] paying taxes.  I'll drink to that.  But recently when the President, borrowing a page from FDR, criticized Wall Street a little too harshly for looting the country into economic collapse and called for a return to stiff financial regulation, Wall Street threatened to switch their money back to the Republicans.  Immediately, Obama beat a hasty [and embarrassing] retreat under a cloud of ass-kissing rhetoric.

Question: Is it good that the filthy rich have become so filthy rich and powerful even if they are supposedly more "liberal"?  Shouldn't we take the money out of politics just for good measure?  This week we explore these and several other important questions.

David Callahan is the author of many books and articles and is a frequent guest on TV and Radio.  The full title of his book is: "Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America".  Other books authored by David include: "The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead", "Kindred Spirits: Harvard Business School's Extraordinary Class of 1949 and How They Transformed American Business", "The Moral Center", "Unwinnable Wars", and "Dangerous Capabilities".

In 1999, David co- founded, Demos, a public policy center based in New York City and prior to that he was a Fellow at the Century Foundation.

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and Elliott Bay Books

Daniel Burton-Rose: Guerrilla USA, Monday 8/30/10 8-9pm PST
Health Professionals and Torture:Perpetrators, Activists, and Healers. TRT 1:26 Recorded 4/24/10
Prolific writer, activist, artist and musician, Daniel Burton-Rose creator of the Infernal Noise Brigade and author of two new books examining the history of the 1970s Seattle based urban guerilla group the George Jackson Brigade, ponders some vexing questions:  How do you create a social movement equivalent to what we are up against?  And when a government engaged in a genocidal foreign policy is assassinating political leaders and activists, as well as mowing down students in the street, at what point do you shoot back?   On hand to answer questions were two former members of the George Jackson Brigade, Rita "Bo" Brown and Ed Mead.

Daniel is author of Guerrilla USA: The George Jackson Brigade and the Anticapitalist Underground of the 1970's, co author with Bo Brown of Creating a Movement with Teeth: A Documentary History of the George Jackson Brigade, and co-editor, with Dan Pens and Paul Wright, of The Ceiling of America: An Inside Look at the US Prison Industry.

Thanks to Elliott Bay Books

Health Professionals and Torture: Perpetrators, Activists, and Healers. Monday 8/23/10 8-9pm PST
Health Professionals and Torture:Perpetrators, Activists, and Healers. TRT 1:26 Recorded 4/24/10
Panelists: Jess Ghannam PhD, J. David Kinzie MD, Randall Horton PhD, & Robert Crawford PhD

The information in this video takes on added significance in light of last week's AP report that in 2007 the CIA discovered three tapes of interrogations carried out in a secret prison in Morocco and twice failed to disclose the existence of these tapes to a federal judge.

Said Rev. Richard L. Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT): "...We don’t know what is on these new tapes, but their very existence (and the fact that it took so many years for their existence to be made known) is another demonstration of the compelling need for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate our past use of torture and to determine what safeguards are needed to prevent its future use. Only a thorough investigation will be able to shine a light on all of the unanswered questions.”

This week, a
panel of medical experts discusses why U.S. torture is not behind us, health care workers complicity in torture and human rights abuses, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, and rehabilitation of torture, victims.

Dr. Horton  talks about "American psychologists and complicity in torture: What’s known and what can be done?"  He gives some general background on medical/health care workers complicity in torture and human rights abuses, and focused remarks on psychologists' involvement in the development and implementation of torture at sites like Guantanamo Bay as well as professional affiliations and roles of some of the individuals involved, and the activities undertaken by other psychologists/professionals to document and bring to light the nature of their peers involvement in torture.  Actions that organizations like Psychologists for Human Rights and members of the American Psychological Association have taken to attempt to forbid any continued involvement by psychologists in torture was also discussed and avenues for action on the part of health care professionals seeking to create/strengthen accountability in their fields.

Dr. Ghannam covers the health effects of war and occupation, with a focus on torture, giving attention to Iraq, Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and Palestine.

Dr. Kinzie is an expert on the effects of war and torture on refugees and the approaches to its treatment.  He discusses the effects on doctors and counselors treating traumatized patients as well as the existential issues of human-inflicted pain.

Dr. Crawford illuminates "Why U.S. torture is not behind us".  He gave an account of how the justifications for torture have taken a more aggressive turn in 2009 in response to President Obama's efforts to abolish it and to the publication of evidence of how horrific acts of torture were authorized at the highest levels of government.  He makes the case for why, contrary to the president's advice, we need to "look backward" at what happened, hold those who formulated torture policies legally accountable, and clarifies why a moral rejection of torture under any circumstances is so crucial to our collective well-being.

Recorded at the War & Global Health Conference hosted by the University of Washington Department of Global Health and Physicians for Social Responsibility April 24th on the UW Campus

Monday 8/16/10 8-9pm PST
Andrew Bacevich: Washington Rules
Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War.  TRT :40 Recorded 8/10/10
Retired US Army Colonel and professor of history and international relations at Boston University, Andrew Bacevich takes a look at how the Military Industrial Complex has come to dominate US foreign policy since WWII.  A prolific writer and author of many bestsellers such as, The Limits of Power and The New American Militarism, he is here to share what he has learned researching his latest book: Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War.
 Thanks to Elliott Bay Bookstore
Ben Burkett: Connecting US and African Farmers for Food

Ben Burkett: Connecting US and African Farmers for Food Sovereignty.  TRT :20 Recorded 8/7/10

Ben Burkett gave this short speech as the keynote talk
at the annual dinner of the Community Alliance for Global Justice on August 7.  He is a 4th generation Mississippi Farmer, President of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the National Family Farm Coalition, and is involved in the international movement of farmers and farm workers, La Via Campesina.

Jesse Freeston: The REAL News, Monday 8/9/10 8-9pm PST
Jesse Freeston: The REAL News.  TRT :58 Recorded 4/5/10
Freeston is a video-journalist with The Real News Network. He is originally from Ontario, Canada, but spent most of the last two years reporting from El Salvador, Honduras, and the U.S. His work has covered a variety of topics including the military-industrial complex, economics & labor issues, Central American social movements and resource rights.

This presentation is about Freeston's essential video journalism covering the coup in Honduras, specifically the post-coup elections where he uncovered overwhelming evidence of fraud while the majority of US newspapers repeated the official story.

The Real News Network, real journalism that matters, covering the coup in Honduras.

Also in this program:
"Free All Political Prisoners NOW!" The Cuban 5 and all US political prisoners.
Presentation by Sarah AlwellVancouver(BC)-based organizer Alwell will discuss the case of the Cuban Five and importance of this campaign within the current situation of political prisoners in the United States.

More information about the Cuban 5 can be found at these links:

This video was from the Northwest Latin American Solidarity Conference, 2010

Video by Landon Hendee

John Judge : There Must Be some Way Out of Here pt.1: The Rise of Global Fascism, Monday 7/26/10 8-9pm PST

John Judge
: There Must Be some Way Out of Here pt.2: The Creation of Real Democracy, Monday 8/2/10 8-9pm PST
John Judge: There Must Be some Way Out of Here pt.1.  TRT 1:28 Recorded 7/7/10 John Judge: There Must Be some Way Out of Here pt.2.  TRT 1:34 Recorded 7/7/10
           pt.1                      pt.2
In this two-part talk “alternative historian” extraordinaire John Judge takes a look at the “deep history” of how the forces of global monopoly capitalism have systematically rolled back democracy and what we need to be doing to get it back.

John Judge is a researcher, activist and public speaker, primarily focusing on the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   He co-founded the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA).  Another area of his investigative research is the background and details of the attacks of September 11, 2001.  He worked with family members of the victims to push for a federal investigation, monitored the work of the 9/11 Commission and is writing a critique the 9/11 Commission Final Report for the 9/11 Research Center.

John is also a co-founder of CHOICES, an organization engaged since 1985 in countering military recruitment.  From 2005 to 2007 John served as Special Projects Assistant to Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia.  One of his many undertakings in Congress was to advocate on behalf of active duty soldiers who received harsh sentences for declaring themselves conscientious objectors and others who claimed to being tortured in military brigs.  He helped write the Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush which Rep. McKinney introduced in December 2006, before leaving office.  These efforts are all part of his Real Democracy Project which depends on public donations and support.

Abe Osheroff: A Conversation with Abe, Wednesday 7/28/10 Noon-1pm PST
Abe Osheroff: A Conversation with Abe.  TRT :58 Recorded 11/2008
Born in 1915, Abe Osheroff was the last surviving veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Washington State. The lifelong social activist, documentary filmmaker and lecturer had joined the Lincoln Brigade when he saw the bombing of Guernica by the German Luftwaffe and was wounded at the Battle Of Belchite in 1937. Later in 1951 he was persecuted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

In this talk, given to the Veterans for Peace in November 2007, 6 months before his sudden death in April 2008, Abe talks about his lifetime of activism and his thoughts on what we need to be passing on to the next generation.

Video by Todd Boyle

Dave Schermerhorn & Hazim Shafi: Crisis in Gaza, Monday 7/19/10 8-9pm PST
Dave Schermerhorn & Hazim Shafi: Crisis in Gaza.  TRT :58 Recorded 6//25/10
This program opens with some extraordinary and shocking video of the illegal attack in international waters on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla compiled from CulturesofResistance.org.  The video was hidden and smuggled out by peace activists and journalists who were aboard the flotilla and subsequently kidnapped by the IDF attackers.  Dave Schermerhorn, a survivor of the Freedom Flotilla talks about his experience as a passenger on the Freedom Flotilla and what happened to him while he was detained in
Israel.  Dave is a retired film producer and an outspoken advocate of Palestinian rights.

Hazim talks about the humanitarian aspects of what it's like in Gaza, how the situation has degraded significantly over the years, and why these latest measures that have been announced are a sham.  Shafi, a Microsoft engineer who was Born in Gaza and graduated from a Quaker High School in Ramallah, Palestine still has close relatives suffering under the Israeli siege of Gaza.  He is the nephew of Haidar Abdel-Shafi, a former prominent Palestinian leader and respected negotiator.

These talks were excepted from a conference given June 25th at St. Mark’s Cathedral entitled: Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure of U.S. Policy.  The full version of the conference organized by Richard Silverstein, author of the notable blog Tikun Olam can be accessed by clicking the thumbnail on the Pirate TV website.

Video by Landon Hendee

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn: Trudge Toward Freedom: Movement-Making for Peace and Justice in the Long Haul, Wed. 7/14/10 Noon-1 PST
Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn: Trudge Toward Freedom.  TRT :58 Recorded 6/6/10
Former leaders in the 60’s anti-war/social justice movement who became leaders in the Weather Underground, Bill and Bernardine are husband and wife.  Ayers is now a distinguished professor at the
University of Illinois who has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education.  He is the founder of the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society.  Law professor Dohrn writes and lectures on international human rights law, war and peace, racism and justice, children in conflict with the law, torture, family violence and school law.  She is the director of the Children and Family Justice Center.  Join these two experts in search of how to move toward long-term peace and justice.

Thanks to the Seattle Green Festival

Video by Todd Boyle
Nicholas Carr: The Internet and Your Brain. Monday 7/12/10 8-9pm PST
Nicholas Carr: The Internet and Your Brain.  TRT 1:13 Recorded 6/21/10
Nicholas Carr is a journalist and author who focuses on the social, economic, and business implications of technology.  Carr has written for many periodicals, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, The Financial Times, Die Zeit, The Futurist, and Advertising Age, and has been a columnist for The Guardian and The Industry Standard.  His latest book: “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains” is a follow up on his much-discussed essay "Is Google Making Us Stupid?," which appeared as the cover story of the Atlantic Monthly's Ideas issue in the summer of 2008.  In this new book, he delves deeper, exploring the Internet’s intellectual and societal consequences, arguing that it is rerouting our neural pathways, and replacing the contemplative mind of the book reader with the distracted mind of the screen watcher.

Thanks to
Seattle Town Hall and University Bookstore

Amory Lovins: Reinventing Fire. Wednesday 7/14/10 Noon-1pm PST
Amory Lovins: Reinventing Fire.  TRT :58 Recorded 6/6/10
Physicist Lovins is Chairman and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute (www.rmi.org) and Chairman Emeritus of Fiberforge Corporation. His wide-ranging innovations in energy, security, environment, and development have been recognized by the Blue Planet, Volvo, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, the Benjamin Franklin and Happold Medals, 11 honorary doctorates, honorary membership of the American Institute of Architects, Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, Foreign Membership of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood, National Design, and World Technology Awards. Lovins advises governments and major firms worldwide on advanced energy and resource efficiency, has briefed 20 heads of state, and has led the technical redesign of more than $30 billion worth of industrial facilities in 29 sectors to achieve very large energy savings at typically lower capital cost. A Harvard and Oxford dropout, Lovins has published 29 books and hundreds of papers and has taught at eight universities, most recently as a 2007 visiting professor in Stanford University ’s School of Engineering . In 2009, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers.

Video by Todd Boyle

Report Back From Gaza. Monday 7/5/10 8-9pm PST
Report back from Gaza.  TRT :58 Recorded 2/25/10
Last October, 12 members of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility traveled to the Gaza Strip. While there, six physicians and one palliative care nurse provided services and support for hundreds of patients and colleagues in the fields of cardiology, neurosurgery, urology, psychiatry, maxillofacial surgery, emergency medicine and grief and bereavement. In addition to clinical work, members of the delegation’s humanitarian team visited citizens' and other places that had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead (Israel’s three week offensive on Gaza immediately preceding the inauguration of President Obama) as well as several community, health, academic, and human rights organizations. All delegates had ample opportunity to bear witness to the effects of Israel ’s ongoing siege.

On February 25th, 7 of the delegates from the
Seattle area gave this eyewitness report on what they saw, did and learned while in Gaza . The presentation and discussion took place at the University Friends Service Center in Seattle .

WPSR's next report back from it's Spring 2010 trip to
Gaza will be on Sunday, July 18, 6PM at University Temple United Methodist Church , Seattle .  For more information contact Cherie Eichholz at 206.547.2630 or cherie@wpsr.org.

Video by
Todd Boyle

Amy Goodman: Drilling, Spilling, & Killing from Oil Wells to Oil Wars, Wed. 7/7/10 Noon-1pm PST
Amy Goodman: Drilling, Spilling, & Killing from Oil Wells to Oil Wars.  TRT :58 Recorded 6/6/10
As stated earlier, it is my opinion that Amy Goodman's coverage of the science of climate change falls under the heading of media blackout [see archive 3: Eli Kintisch: Hack the Planet]. I've decided to hold off on sending that write-up as an open letter simply because after thinking about it, Noam Chomsky and Bill McKibben said all that needs to be said in their video statement which I linked to in that same article. That said, Democracy Now! in my opinion is still the most popular and best daily [alternative] news program in the country and this talk given at the Seattle Green Festival on June 6th is the best I've seen from her in a while. She thoroughly outlines the failure of the main stream media's coverage of the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf and the attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla among other subjects.

Thanks to the Seattle Green Festival
Video by Todd Boyle

Gwynne Dyer: The Geopolitics of Climate Change, Monday 6/28/10 8-9pm PST
Gwynne Dyer: The Geopolitics of Climate Change, TRT 1:07 Recorded 6/23/10
Gwynne Dyer: Climate change won’t just make your world a little warmer—it’s also going to make it a lot more dangerous, says geopolitical analyst and journalist Gwynne Dyer. In the decades ahead, says Dyer (Climate Wars), we can expect dwindling resources, massive population shifts, natural disasters, crashing economies, and political extremism—and any of them could tip the world toward conflict.

Thanks to Seattle The Town Hall and Elliott Bay Book Company.

David Korten: A New Game; A New Economy, Wed. 7/1/10 Noon-1pm PST
David Korten: A New Game; A New Economy.  TRT :58 Recorded 6/5/10
Korten, visionary author and speaker, has long been a leader in framing the large economic choices that human societies must address to achieve just and sustainable
green economies. The Wall Street financial crash has spurred efforts to pull together the elements of such a system into a coherent framing vision and strategy.  Korten will draw on the work of the New Economy Working Group, which he co-chairs, to present that vision, highlight implications, ownership and global rules and then, outline a strategy for actualizing the vision.

Thanks to the Seattle Green Festival, Video by Bill Alford

Eli Kintisch: Hack the Planet, Monday 6/21/10 8-9pm PST
Eli Kintisch: Hack the Planet. TRT 1:04 Recorded 6/2/10
In a recent video posted on Common Dreams featuring Noam Chomsky and Bill McKibben, the dean of media analysts pointed out that in the ‘he said she said’ world of mass media there are generally two positions featured on global warming which must be given “equal time”: the flat-earthers, the corporate funded shills who deny that global warming exists as opposed to the 99% of scientists who believe that it does.  He said that there is yet a third side: the group of scientists who believe that the reality of climate change is far worse than previously believed.  This side which I would argue includes those scientists who are in fact the closest to the subject gets no coverage at all even in Alternative Media.  These would include, just to name a few, such noted luminaries as preeminent Feedback Dynamics expert David Wasdell who heads up the Apollo-Gaia Project in London, James Lovelock the very inventor of the Gaia Principle on which all modern climate science is based, the noted paleontologist Peter Ward who was instrumental in establishing that almost all of the myriad mass extinction events in geologic time were caused by rapid climate destabilization brought on by a change in green house gasses (GHGs) in the atmosphere, and to one extent or another James Hansen, Chair of Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

While the reasons for the media blackout are numerous, we will have to save that discussion for another day.  Our purpose here is to establish the point that while the public [other than Pirate TV viewers] has been kept in the dark, the reality that rapidly escalating runaway climate change has progressed to the point were it will or very soon will take extraordinary measures to stop it from wiping us out altogether has not gone unnoticed by everyone.

Geoengineering or climate engineering is the term used to describe
the technological manipulation of the Earth's climate to counteract the effects of global warming.  A recent story on Democracy Now featured Pat Mooney, founder of the ETC Group which has launched an international campaign against geoengineering experiments.  While watching this, I found myself in almost complete agreement with what Mr. Mooney had to say.  One need look no farther than BP’s oil volcano to witness the limits of human technology.  If left to corporations like Monsanto and the cocksure techno-fix set, we are almost certainly asking for a non solution “solution” and at worst a disaster of far greater magnitude.  As we will learn from this show, any attempt to mechanically manipulate Gaia with the limited amount of knowledge we currently possess should only be attempted as a last ditch effort to save the biosphere from total collapse.

What made me progressively angrier as I watched Mr. Moony on Democracy Now was the dawning impression that Messrs. Mooney et. al. and Amy Goodman as well are every bit as arrogant and close minded as the flat-earthers and techno-fixers because the very same point that Noam made in regard to the flat-earthers extends to them: What are the consequences if you are wrong?  Not wrong about the dangers of screwing with Mother Nature but wrong about the possibility that there may be no choice.  I conclude that Democracy Now can be safely put into that ‘other category’ of climate change deniers.  I say this after twice taking my time to talk to Amy and explain to her what I have learned over the past few years of discussions with David Wasdell and many others.  None of the scientists that Noam is talking about have been on her show other than James Hansen.  There has been no opposing or clarifying point of view expressed either before or since Mr. Mooney appeared.  While she is doing a greatly appreciated job of covering Climate Activism, Amy Goodman does not cover climate change science at all.  -Arguably the most important subject there is in our times.

As we rapidly alter the planet, knowledge of the consequences of what we are doing lags behind.  The “sea change” we are imposing on the earth is accompanied by a corresponding but unfortunately slower sea change in scientific awareness.   For instance, [as alluded to above] advances in paleoclimatology and other fields have established that all the major and minor mass extinction events in Earth history other than the one that took out the Dinosaurs were caused by climate change very similar to the sort that we have initiated.  It is now understood that these were caused by an increase in GHGs in the atmosphere usually from volcanic sources which brought about [among other things] a shut down or altering of the thermohaline circulation (Great Conveyer Belt) leading to massive changes in the ocean which on several occasions ended up wiping out almost everything.  This knowledge has only become settled science in the last decade or so.  While it’s now understood that climate change can happen far more rapidly than previously thought, what’s even scarier is that increases in GHG concentrations have never happened on as short a timescale as we are now witnessing.

Our understanding of the feedback mechanisms driving the rapid escalation in planetary heating is also cutting edge science.  Only in the last five or six years have these processes begun to become intensely studied.   Although initiated by the rapid onset of GHGs in the atmosphere, since they are heat driven, these chain reactions take on a life of their own and interact with each other causing the planet to heat ever more rapidly.  Even if we could shut down GHG production instantly, CO2 stays in the atmosphere for thousands of years.  What’s worse, it would be tantamount to closing the lid on Pandora’s Box after the evil spirits had escaped.  The feedbacks are running wild and out of control.  The raw data increasingly confirms that climate change is worse than the worse case scenarios of even the most knowledgeable among us.  Stopping the increase in carbon emissions must be done ASAP but it will not stop the Anthropogenic Extinction Event.

This stuff is not all that hard to understand.  Furthermore, I would argue that once you are aware of it, it takes quite a lot not to get it.  Given the importance of the subject and the fact that it is out there and easily accessible to anyone who cares to look, I can only conclude that if Amy Goodman and others in the Alternative Media which we depend on to “break the sound barrier” aren’t looking, it’s because they don’t want to.  What the math says is that if there is a ‘last ditch’ we are probably already in it.  I’m not the only one who realizes this.  That’s why, to call for a shut down in the study of geoengineering is not only recklessly foolish but futile.  The Catholic Church may have been able to shut down Galileo but they couldn’t shut down the reality that the Earth orbits the sun.  As we shall learn in this talk, the geoengineering “train has already left the station.”  There are major studies going on at universities all over the world.   If we are to have any hope of having any control over this technology, then we had better start educating ourselves about what is going on so that we can advocate for geoengineering for planetary healing rather than corporate stealing.  A good place to start might be to read Eli’s book.

Example: I heard recently that whales sequester huge amounts of carbon.  Maybe instead of shooting sulfur into the stratosphere we might try restoring the whale population.  Example:  Eric Holt said on this program that a return to small scale organic subsistence farming is one of the most effective means of combating global warming.  Maybe we should be advocating this as opposed to allowing the Gates Foundation in cahoots with Monsanto to cram GMO seeds down the throats of African farmers…and so on.  Odds are, there may be thousands of ways to effectively “geoengineer” the planet which aren’t being studied because they don’t create huge profits.  If we don’t involve ourselves in this debate, then we are very likely to end up like the dinosaurs.  The corporations will survive –they will be in a safe on the bottom of the ocean somewhere.

Science reporter Eli Kintisch writes for Science magazine and has written the first book on the subject of geoengineering: “Hack the Planet: Science's Best Hope - or Worst Nightmare - for Averting Climate Catastrophe”.   Dr. David Battisti, Chair of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington is a world renowned expert in his field.  Paleontologist Peter Ward [mentioned above] said Battisti was the inspiration for his book: “Under a Green Sky” and described him as “one of the modern architects of climate science.”

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and University Book Store

John Perkins: Hoodwinked, Wed. 6/23/10 Noon-1pm PST
John Perkins: Hoodwinked.  TRT :58 Recorded 6/5/10
The Economic Hit Man is back for the third time!  This time he has a new book: “Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded--and What We Need to Do to Remake Them”.  If it weren’t for predatory capitalism, maybe we could have started the process of solving the problems of climate change 20 years ago.  John says he wrote this new book to make clear that we can create a healthy economy to encourage businesses to act responsibly, not only in the interests of their shareholders and corporate partners, but for their employees, their customers, the environment and society at large.  He has laid out a plan to do so.  Perkins is a founder and board member of Dream Change and the Pachamama Alliance and authored the bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Thanks to the Seattle Green Festival
Video by Bill Alford

Thom Hartmann: Unequal Protection (Slight Return). Wed 6/16/10 Noon-1pm PST
Thom Hartmann: How corporations became persons.  TRT :58 Recorded 6/5/10
How corporations became persons
Earlier this year, five Republican appointees to the US Supreme Court overturned more than 200 years of American legal precedent and declared that corporations are just like humans under the law and thus, also entitled to the free speech right to give unlimited amounts of cash to campaigns for politicians and political issues. How did this corruption of our democracy happen, and what can we do about it? Hartmann is an internationally-known speaker on culture and communications and the host of the nationally syndicated “Thom Hartmann Program.”  Thom has recently released his new addition of “Unequal Protection”, this one subtitled: “How Corporations Became ‘People’ and How You Can Fight Back

Thanks to Kevin Danaher and the Green Festival
Video provided by
Bill Alford

Duane Elgin: From the Rat Race to the Human Race. Monday 6/14/10 8-9pm PST
Duane Elgin: From the Rat Race to the Human Race. TRT 1:12 Recorded 5/21/10
The problem with the rat race, mused comedian Lily Tomlin, is that even if you win, you are still a rat.  Thankfully, says author Duane Elgin, more people are jumping off the rodent wheel and discovering a higher quality of life as a human.  Elgin
, author of the sustainability bible “Voluntary Simplicity”, helps identify a more balanced way of living, examining how people are altering how they view the world, themselves, and the human journey as an integral part of changing lifestyles.

Thanks to:
The Whidbey Institute,
Antioch University, and Seattle Town Hall
Video by Landon Hendee

Pete Knutson: Where We Go From Here, Monday 6/7/10 8-9pm PST
Pete Knutson: Where We Go From Here. TRT :58 Recorded 5/31/10
Professor of Anthropology Pete Knutson is a well known local environmental activist and was a key organizer in the campaign to save the Fisherman’s Terminal from private development.  In addition to teaching Anthropology at Seattle Central Community Collage where his classes are highly rated, he spends the summer commercial fishing on his boat in Alaska.  I sought out Pete for his insight into the fishing community and the environmental impact of the oil gusher.  It ended up being a rousing conversation on the state of the human predicament.

Paul Loeb: Soul of a Citizen, Monday 5/31/10 8-9pm PST
Paul Loeb: Soul of a Citizen TRT 1:17 Recorded 5/5/10
Paul Loeb, our resident expert on the psyche of activism has come out with an inspiring revised edition of his bestseller: “Soul of a Citizen” which focuses on how people become politically active and engaged, and stay that way.  This time Paul actually included a quote from me in his chapter on burnout.  I’ll let you read it for yourselves but I was basically commenting on my determination to “die with my boots on” as they say since I don’t see that there is any other choice.  -Famous last words?  Maybe I need to go back and read my own inspiring quote because the reason I haven’t done this write-up until this last minute is because making two shows a week is taking its usual toll.  I would do almost anything to get out of it.  Dr. Loeb- thanks for the medicine.  I’ll read your book next.

Thanks to University Bookstore

Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, Wed. 6/2/10 Noon-1pm PST
Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning TRT 1:25 Recorded 4/23/10
I think the first time I became aware of Chris Hedges was a few years ago when he came out with the book that is the subject of this talk.  I had heard several interviews on alternative media.  Then he came out with the next book, “Empire of Illusion” and I was fortunate enough to get permission to videotape his talk at Town Hall.  I think that was one of the most powerful presentations I’ve ever seen.  It was one extraordinarily compelling, evocative and superbly crafted sentence followed amazingly by another, and another.  Astonishingly, he was able to carry this off for an entire hour.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.  Chris Hedges has to be one of the greatest wordsmiths of our times.  And with these words he is able to thoroughly illuminate and engross us in the realty of the kind of bizarre mix of pabulum and fascism [>Pabulofascism?] that encompasses the current American paradigm.

In this program, Pirate TV viewers get the chance to go back and see an updated version of the talk that we missed from his previous book tour.  It was given in a very special place to a very special audience.  It was the keynote lecture that kicked off the recent “War & Global Health” conference last month here at the UW before an audience of activist doctors and health professionals.  There could be no more fitting person to give this keynote because the former NY Times war correspondent in Latin America, the Middle East, and the Balkans is himself admittedly suffering from a severe case of PTSD.  Throughout the latter part of this talk and the Q&A which can be seen on the online [LP] version, he is clearly struggling to keep from breaking down altogether which drives home the point ever more poignantly.   Everything about war is poison.   Even covering it destroys the soul.  Chris Hedges explodes the myths and illuminates the realities and effects of war from all angles but I think we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for the obvious pain it took to do it.

Camera by Todd Boyle

Steven Bezruchka & Steve Gloyd: War: Origins, Consequences and Prevention, Monday 5/24/10 8-9pm PST
Steven Bezruchka & Steve Gloyd: War: Origins, Consequences and Prevention TRT :58 Recorded 4/25/10
War has long been a principal tool of imperialism, usually employed to protect the status quo of the elites, causing or perpetuating inequality and poverty. Since poverty is the principal determinant of global morbidity and mortality, war is a major contributor to disease and death – well beyond the direct effects of war. Stephen Bezruchka discusses how conflict became prominent only with the 'progress' of agriculture and civilization which produced hierarchies and material wealth that could be plundered. For most of human existence we have lived in egalitarian societies. Only in the last few thousand years has warring became a societal activity. The prehistory and history of war will be reviewed and seen to result from various forms of exploitation that can be controlled by human agency. Examples of situations with unusual strategies to prevent wars such as those of Japan and Costa Rica will be reviewed.

Stephen Gloyd discusses the determinants and consequences of contemporary wars, including an analysis of the 50 wars waged by the USA in the past century, most of which have snuffed out attempts to address inequities and oppression. He demonstrates how American involvement in wars has typically been associated with protecting corporate interests and local elites and will estimate excess mortality associated with missed opportunities for reduction of poverty and inequality. Both speakers discuss strategies to prevent or reduce war in the 21st century.

Stephen Bezruchka MD, MPH is Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Global Health and Health Services at UW. After working as a clinical doctor for 35 years (including ten years in various health care and training programs in Nepal) he looks at the country or large population as his patient. He teaches courses in population health and received the School of Public Health’s Teacher of the Year and Community Service awards.

Stephen Gloyd, MD, MPH, is a family practice physician who has been a University of Washington faculty member since 1986. He has worked for over 30 years in Africa, Latin America, and Asia as a clinician, manager, researcher, teacher, and policy advocate. His work has focused on improving primary health care, including maternal-child health services, tuberculosis control, and STD/AIDS. He has written and spoken extensively on the political economy of global health care and the connection between neoliberalism and health.

Professor Gloyd is Associate Chair for Education and Curriculum in the UW’s Department of Global Health where he directs efforts to expand curricular options to address global workforce needs. His work with Health Alliance International is designed improve approaches to global health assistance and to strengthen primary health care with the Ministries of Health of Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, and Timor-Leste. Dr. Gloyd received his BA and MPH from Harvard, his MD from the University of Chicago, and his family medicine residency at the University of Washington.

Shane Harris: Who’s Watching You Now? Wed. 526/10 Noon-1pm PST

Shane Harris: Who’s Watching You Now? TRT 1:15 Recorded 3/3/10
The rise of America’s surveillance state over the past 25 years highlights a dangerous paradox, says journalist Shane Harris: It’s now harder for the government to catch terrorists, and easier for it to spy on the rest of us. Harris, the intelligence and Homeland Security correspondent at the National Journal and author of “The Watchers”, says high-tech spycraft has moved from the province of Bush era ‘emergency response measures’ into the mainstream, creating a capacity to gather a disquieting trove of personal information on every American.

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and the University Bookstore

Special 2hr Broadcast: Ralph Nader: Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! Monday 5/1710 7-9pm PST
  Ralph Nader:
 Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! TRT 1:50 Recorded 5/7/10
Ralph Nader calls his new book a work of fiction but says it’s not a novel. In this book he posits the question: “What if America ’s wealthiest individuals decided to work for the collective good?” He says that there are a small group of extremely wealthy men now in their 70s, 80s and 90s who as they enter the sunset of their lives are not altogether happy about the way things turned out. What with the impending collapse of the biosphere, the rightward turn of governments, the suicide economy, and endless war, America ’s greatest living social reformer imagines what might happen if some of the world’s most powerful men got together and pooled their efforts to save humanity. In the process he hopes to teach us the importance of imagining.

Thanks to Elliott Bay Books and Seattle Town Hall.

Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow, Wed. 5/19/10 Noon-1pm PST
Alexander: The New Jim Crow. TRT :58 Recorded 4/14/10  
Longtime civil rights advocate and litigator, Michelle Alexander gave this talk to an organizing benefit for 3-strikes reform last month in Seattle. She says that there are now more black men in jail and prison in the United States than there were slaves in times of slavery. Although black men have always been targets for special prosecution in the US , the Jim Crow era apartheid system has now been replaced by a new racial caste system which not only singles them out for disproportionate prosecution but has been expanded to include an ever increasing number of black women and poor people in general. As a result there is a shortage of eligible men in the black community and a 2 million + population –almost entirely black and brown, in the largest prison industrial complex the world has ever seen.

Professor Alexander traces the beginning of this latest incarnation of American apartheid to Richard Nixon’s declaration of the phony “War on Drugs”, a political sleight of hand meant to avert the public’s attention from the burgeoning population of addicts returning from the wars in Southeast Asia strung out on Air America heroin, which of course was brought about by the very same government’s own policies. This policy went on steroids with the enactment of right wing initiatives and 3-strikes laws whereby people can be sent to prison for the rest of their lives for relatively insignificant non violent offences and creating a system whereby entire populations of youths in inner city communities are tracked for prison by law enforcement. It is slavery only by another name.

Washington State still has a 3-Strikes law but recent positive - and historic - developments in Washington State hold promise to reduce racial disparity in our criminal justice system. Professor Alexander calls for a grassroots multi-racial organizing movement for cultural change as the only way to end mass incarceration - and to, finally, put Jim Crow to rest.

Michelle Alexander won a 2005 Soros Justice Fellowship and now holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Mortiz College of Law at Ohio State University . She served for several years as director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California, and subsequently directed the Civil Rights Clinics at Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor. Alexander is a former law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court, and has appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is her first book.

Alfred McCoy: Psychological Torture and Political Impunity, Monday 5/10/10 8-9pm PST

Dr. Alfred McCoy: Psychological Torture and Political Impunity. TRT 1:21 Recorded 4/24/10

Alfred McCoy, PhD, a professor with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror”, gave this Keynote Speech Saturday 4/24 at the War & Global Health Conference.  Professor McCoy is introduced by Congressman Jim McDermott (D) 7th Congressional District, Seattle.

During the first decade of the Cold War, the CIA and allied security agencies developed a form of psychological torture whose defining attributes — elusive, innovative, seductive and destructive — would allow it to persist for the next half century as a distinctly American form of interrogation. In ratifying the U.N. Convention Against Torture in 1994, the Clinton administration attached diplomatic reservations that effectively legalized psychological methods with language that would be encoded verbatim in four major Federal laws from 1996-2006, creating a legal basis for revival of these extreme methods under the Bush Administration and impunity for perpetrators under Obama. 

Dr. McCoy is the author of many books including the groundbreaking: “The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia” first published in 1972.  The book documented the CIA/Air America drug connection which financed the War in Laos and led to a third of all GIs in Viet Nam coming back strung out on Heroin.

Lawrence Wittner: How Peace Activists Saved the World from Nuclear War, Wed. Noon-1pm PST

Lawrence Wittner: How Peace Activists Saved the World from Nuclear War. TRT :58 Recorded 4/3/10 

Lawrence S. Wittner is an author and Professor of History at State University of New York/Albany. A former president of the Council on Peace Research in History (now the Peace History Society), he has written extensively on the history of peace movements and on the history of United States foreign policy.  Professor Wittner's books include Rebels Against War, Cold War America, and American Intervention in Greece.  His most extensive project was a scholarly trilogy entitled The Struggle Against the Bomb (1993-2003).  In 2009, he came out with an abbreviated version: Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement.  Professor Wittner has spoken at the United Nations and at the Norwegian Nobel Institute, delivered guest lectures on dozens of college and university campuses, and given talks in numerous countries.  Lawrence Wittner has been a peace movement activist for nearly fifty years, and currently serves on the national board of Peace Action, America's largest peace organization.

Bill McKibben: Eaarth, Monday 5/3/10 8-9pm PST

Bill McKibben: Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. TRT 1:24 Recorded 4/11/10 

Our good old globe is no longer so familiar, says environmentalist Bill McKibben. It’s melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen—such a new, fundamentally different planet, so suddenly and violently out of balance, that McKibben renames it Eaarth. McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, argues that our hope depends on scaling back—on building societies and economies that can concentrate on essentials and create the type of community that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale.

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and University Bookstore

Robert Elias: The Empire Strikes Out, Wed. 5/5/10 Noon-1pm PST

From the Civil War to the Iraq War, baseball has played a central, and perhaps unexpected, role in mythologizing the American empire, first at home and then beyond. But is the modern face of baseball that of goodwill ambassador, or ugly American? Robert Elias, author of the fascinating The Empire Strikes Out, says baseball and America are intertwined in the export of “the American way,” from our foreign policies to the sport itself.

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and Elliott Bay Books

Recorded by Todd Boyle

Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuff, Monday 4/26/10 8-9pm PST

Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuff. TRT 1:12 Recorded 3/24/10 Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuff movie. TRT :20 Annie Leonard: The Story of Cap&Trade. TRT :10

Town Hall Talk                       Films

Sustainability and environmental health expert Annie Leonard says 90% of the stuff churned out by our “materials economy” is in a landfill by six months.  It wasn’t always this way.  Back in the 50s the masters of the universe at that time, the National Association of Manufacturers (to be specific), came to the conclusion that the public had to be forced to consume.  And of course, then as now, the masters got their way.  For some strange reason as we find ourselves working harder and harder to acquire more and more of the stuff that our TV constantly tells us we need, studies show that we are growing less and less happy.  And just think how unhappy we are going to be when the bill, the one the TV is not talking about [the collapse of everything] comes due.  There must be a better way to live.

Annie Leonard created an Internet sensation with her video The Story of Stuff, a look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns that has drawn more than 7 million views.  She has now come out with a book that bears the same name.  Leonard's latest video: Cap&Trade exposes the ruse that Cap&Trade is a solution to climate change .  Links to both of these films are posted here.

Annie is a former coordinator of the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption.  She says basic stuff is a necessity—but consumerism and overconsumption have hidden costs to our health, environment, and the lives of millions of people who live and work in dangerous, dehumanizing conditions to sustain a dysfunctional “take-make-waste” paradigm.

Thanks to Seatle Town Hall and
University Bookstore
Recorded by Landon Hendee

Helen Caldicott: Why Nuclear Power is Not a Solution to Global Warming, Wed. 4/28/10 Noon-1pm PST

Helen Caldicott: Why Nuclear Power is Not a Solution to Global Warming. TRT :58 Recorded 3/25/10 

Helen Caldicott, the co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility gave this talk to the Washington State chapter of that organization here in Seattle on March 25th.  Those who have been exposed to her in the past know that there is no better deconstuctor of myths surrounding all things nuclear than her.  So what about this talk?  Lets just say that she puts to bed permanently the notion being touted by the denizons of big energy that nuclear power is any kind of realistic solution to anything let alone climate change.  From the mining of uranium to the storage of nuclear waste forever, she demonstrates that every step along the way the manufactoring of power from nuclear energy has hidden costs that make it far more expensive than any other form of energy and that it actually produces far more carbon than it saves.  Like the concept of “clean coal”, nuclear is green only on Madison Avenue.   

Thanks to Todd Boyle for videotaping this event

4/19/10 Two Shows this Week:

Decades ago I heard Noam Chomsky say that people in the U.S. are the most highly indoctrinated population on earth.  “Surely, he’s gone too far this time”, I thought.  For instance, at least the Soviets are more indoctrinated than us, aren’t they?  After all we have the NY Times, PBS, Time Magazine, Sixty Minutes, etc.  And what do they have?  Pravda?  Through exposure to some actual Russian friends, I learned that not only did they know more about their own history but they knew more about US history than most Americans.  And not a one of them were gullible enough to believe their own government’s bullshit.  If anything they were more inclined to believe ours.  …No luck there.


It took me years to begin to comprehend the profound nature of what Chomsky was talking about.  In fact I’m still peeling that onion.  If the US is still first class in anything, it is that we have the most efficient and effective system of thought control the world has ever known.  And it’s getting “better” all the time.  Clearly, the Soviets’ rickety old ‘Volkswagen bug’ of a propaganda system was not even in the same galaxy as our ‘Starship Enterprise’ style apparatus.


If ever there was a stark example of this -where black is white and up is down, it is the crap Americans have had crammed down their throats about the State of Israel and the struggle for Palestine.  All you have to do is make the effort to look into it just a little bit before you begin to realize that virtually everything we think we know is the exact opposite of reality.  To help us unravel some of these myth-conceptions, we are going to feature two experts on the Middle East: historian and long time activist Richard Becker and the writer and media activist extraordinaire Ali Abunimah.  –It’s a feast of cognitive dissonance!

Richard Becker:
Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire, Monday 4/19/10 8-9pm PST

 Richard Becker: Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire. TRT 1:24 Recorded 4/11/10

Richard Becker has been touring the US to promote his most recent book: “Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire.”  A few weeks ago I heard him on Alternative Radio.  It was an eye-opening comprehensive breakdown of the history of the Middle East, Imperial Colonialism, Zionism, and the creation of Israel all the way up to the present with the role Israel plays as a U.S. client state and services rendered as protector of U.S. corporate interests in the region.  –Exactly what is missing from the vernacular in the U.S.  I high-tailed it down to the ANSWER Coalition basement to meet him, videotape his presentation and ask him a few questions.

Richard Becker is a noted writer and commentator on Middle East affairs.  He has been a featured speaker at political forums and conferences in the United States and across the world.  Becker has visited the Middle East on numerous occasions. He led fact-finding delegations to Palestine in 2000 and 2002, delivering medicine to Palestinian hospitals.  Becker helped produce the video Palestine Fights for Freedom (2002) based on his experiences.

In January 2000, Becker was co-leader of the Iraq Sanctions Challenge, which delivered $2 million of medicine to
Iraq. He first traveled to Iraq in 1994 with a fact-finding delegation headed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Becker co-authored the book: “The Children Are Dying” (1996) about the effects of sanctions on the Iraqi people.  He contributed to the anthology Challenge to Genocide: Let Iraq Live (1999).  Becker co-produced the award-winning video Genocide by Sanctions (1998).  Most recently, in December 2005, he participated in an international conference in Syria about Palestinian refugees and the right of return.

Becker is the Western Regional Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism).  ANSWER has organized mass protests of hundreds of thousands of people against the wars in
Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine from mid-2002 to the present.  He is a regular contributor to Liberation newspaper and PSLweb.org.

Ali Abunimah: The Crisis in Israel/Palestine: Toward a Just Solution,
Wed. 4/21/10 Noon–1pm PST
Ali Abunimah: The Crisis in Israel/Palestine: Toward a Just Solution. TRT :58 Recorded 3/7/10
Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian-American, is the cofounder and editor of the groundbreaking Electronic Intifada web site (http://electronicintifada.net) since 2001 and, more recently, of Electronic Iraq and Electronic Lebanon.  He is also the author of “One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse”.  A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago, he has written for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.  Ali discusses the propaganda surrounding Israel and the prospects for a one-state solution.

This talk was recorded March 7, at the HUB Auditorium on University of Washington campus by Todd Boyle

William L. Marcy: The Politics of Cocaine, Monday 4/12/10 8-9pm PST

The Politics of Cocaine. TRT 1:08 Recorded 3/6/10 

With the Mexican narco-state continuing it’s ongoing disintegration before our very eyes into violent gangland style chaos that would have made even Al Capone blush, historian William L. Marcy takes another look at the historic roots of the drug trade in Central and South America and traces it directly to the militarized prohibition policies of the United States.  He does this in vivid relief, using maps, pictures, and charts to bring home the reality that the "War on Drugs” –at least in its stated purpose has been and ever will be a dismal failure since it acts as a price support mechanism for the very economy it claims to target.  William L. Marcy is assistant professor of history at St. Martin's University and his new book is: “The Politics of Cocaine: How U.S. Foreign Policy Has Created a Thriving Drug Industry in Central and South America”.

Thanks to Elliott Bay Bookstore


Dr. James Hollis: What Matters Most, Wed. 4/14/10 Noon to 1pm PST

Dr. James Hollis: What Matters Most. TRT :58 Recorded 3/5/10 

We take a look at the science of happiness with Dr. James Hollis, Jungian analyst and preeminent leader in the field of Jungian psychology.  He served as Executive Director of the Jung Educational Center of Houston from 1997-2008, is a retired Senior Training Analyst for the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, was the first Director of Training of the Philadelphia Jung Institute, and is vice president emeritus of the Philemon Foundation, which is dedicated to the publication of the complete works of Jung. Additionally, he is Director of the Jungian Studies program of Saybrook Graduate School of San Francisco.  He is the author of 13 books, the latest of which is: “What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life.”

Thanks to the C.G. Jung Society of Seattle, the event was recorded by Todd Boyle

W. Lance Bennett: Climate Change in the Media Revolution, Monday 4/5/10 8-9pm PST

 W. Lance Bennett: Climate Change in the Media Revolution. TRT :58 Recorded 2/9/10

Media expert W. Lance Bennett, Professor and Director of the UW’s Center for Communication and Civic Engagement takes on the climate change denial industry. This talk was the third installment of the series: The Revolution is Here: How Digital Media and Awakened Citizens Are Changing the World presented by Town Hall and UW Communication Department.  Professor Bennett deconstructs how Climate Controversy is manufactured in the United States, how the media have fanned doubts and controversies while evidence of deteriorating global conditions continues to mount, addresses problems with the news that relate to these patterns, and illustrates how information and citizen engagement on issues such as the environment are beginning to change online.

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and Todd Boyle for videotaping this talk

Cynthia McKinney: Don’t Get Tired When Working for Justice, Monday 3/29/10 8-9pm PST

 Cynthia McKinney: Don’t Get Tired When Working for Justice. TRT 1:47 Recorded 2/25/10

What would happen if there was a real life “Mr. Smith” that went to Washington?  What if this Mr. Smith lived in today’s times where corruption of our political process has reached unprecedented levels that the fictional Mr. Smith of the 50s most likely could never have imagined?   What if this Mr. Smith came not in the form of a white man but a black woman?  What if this “Ms” Smith didn’t stop there but went on to run for president?  What if this Ms Smith came to Evergreen State College in Washington State…?

Thanks to Landon Hendee for Recording Assistance

Steven Hill: Europe’s Promise, Monday 3/22/10 8-9pm and Wed. Noon-1pm PST

 Steven Hill: Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age. TRT 1:17 Recorded 3/15/10

The Europe has the best health care in the world with universal coverage at about half the cost, has more Fortune 500 companies than the U.S. and China together with low disparity of wealth, lower unemployment, higher rates of union membership, a far better social safety net, better education, better media, widespread use of renewable energy and conservation technologies with an "ecological footprint" that is half that of the United States. 

Conservatives like to argue that Europeans pay higher taxes which stifle innovation and wealth creation.  The opposite is true.   Europe has figured out how to harness capitalism's tremendous wealth-creating capacity so that its benefits are broadly shared.  Although they pay more in taxes, Europeans receive a seemingly endless list of benefits and services -- quality health care, decent retirement, more vacation, paid parental leave, paid sick leave, free or nearly free university education, housing assistance and much more -- for which Americans must pay extra via out-of-pocket fees, premiums, deductibles, tuition and other charges, in addition to our taxes. When you sum up the total balance sheet, you discover that many Americans pay out as much as or more than Europeans -- but we receive a lot less for our money.

Noam Chomsky has said that Americans are the most highly indoctrinated people in the world.  It’s a testament to that extreme brainwashing that very few people realize how much better Europeans have it than we do.

So what Happened?  I would argue that Europe has democracy while the US has degenerated into a system of corporate peonage whereby all the legs of democratic governance have been systematically sawed off.  There is the appearance of democracy or democratic “forms” but no substance.  This includes the media, the educational system, the political system itself, and the dismantling of the constitutional protections against tyranny that we have enjoyed over last 200 years.    

Next question:  What do we do about it?  I would argue that whatever that would be, be had better get moving fast.

The full title of Steve Hill’s book is: Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age (www.EuropesPromise.org).  He is a political writer and program director at the New America Foundation a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.  His previous books include 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy (2006), Fixing Elections: The Failure of America's Winner Take All Politics (2003) and Whose Vote Counts (Beacon Press, 2001).  Mr. Hill's articles and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Guardian, New York Daily News, The Nation, Salon.com, American Prospect, Social Europe, Le Monde Diplomatique, Roll Call, Ms., and other leading publications. Mr Hill has appeared on many national and local radio and television programs, and has lectured widely in the United States and Europe.  He has testified before numerous commissions and task forces throughout the United States.

Donna Smith, Rep. Jim McDermott, & Larry Kalb, Single Payer Healthcare Forum, Monday 3/15/10 8-9pm PST

Donna Smith, Rep. Jim McDermott, & Larry Kalb, Healthcare Forum TRT 1:20 Recorded 2/27/10 

Since 1987, Physicians for a National Health Program has advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system and has done some of the most significant research on its deficiencies. A large part of their work involves educating health professionals and the public about the benefits of a single-payer Medicare for All system --including its huge administrative savings ($400 million/year). This reform would guarantee comprehensive health care to all Americans, without increasing costs. 

PNHP has more than 17,000 members and chapters across the United States, organizes rallies, town hall meetings, and debates; coordinates speakers and forum discussions; contributes op-eds and articles to the nation's top newspapers, medical journals and magazines; and appears regularly on national television and news programs advocating forngle-payer system. The Western Washington Chapter was founded in 2005.

Donna Smith was recently honored as the National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) 2009 Woman of Action and first came to the public’s attention in Michael Moore’s 2007 movie, “SICKO.” Despite having health insurance and even a health savings account, Donna and her husband Larry were forced to move into their daughter’s basement after being unable to pay staggering health care costs—and were left in financial ruin.  Donna’s husband, Larry, suffered three heart attacks and Donna was diagnosed and treated for cancer. There is a scene in the movie “SICKO” where Michael Moore takes Donna to Cuba to get the necessary treatment their insurance wouldn’t pay for.  After the film was released, Smith became a health care activist, taking her story and those of other victims of the badly broken health care system around the country at rallies, teach-ins, seminars and demonstrations. She is a founder of the health care advocacy group American Patients United. She has expressed her views on current health care reform efforts on PBS’s Bill Moyer’s Journal. 

Rep. Jim McDermott has represented Washington’s congressional District 7 since 1989 and has been a leading advocate for health care reform.  He is the sponsor of HR 1200, the American Health Security Act, which would guarantee health care to every American through universal, single-payer health care. Rep. McDermott will deliver an insider report on health care legislation in Congress. 

                Larry Kalb is a state health care reform activist who will address the moral imperative of universal coverage for guaranteed access to comprehensive, timely health care.  He is a Democratic candidate for Congress in Washington’s 2nd District and has been Chair of the Progressive Caucus for the Washington State Democratic Party. Larry also served as the National Coordinator for the Health Care Working Group for the Progressive Democrats of America. He has been a board member of Health Care for All - Washington for six years and its President for the past two years. Kalb has developed a popular health care reform presentation that encapsulates the players and issues in the current U.S. system. Larry has also lived 11 years in Europe and brings with him extensive observations and real-life experiences with health care in European nations. 

See: PNHP Western Washington

Gary Wills: Bomb Power, Monday 3/8/10 8-9pm and Wed. Noon-1pm PST

Gary Wills: Bomb Power. TRT 1:09 Recorded 2/9/10 

The power of the atomic bomb resonates far beyond megatons, says Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historian Garry Wills: Its very existence has transformed our nation by dramatically increasing the power of the modern presidency and redefining the government as a national security state. Wills, author of Bomb Power, says the Manhattan Project was a triumph of official secrecy and military discipline—perhaps expected in wartime, but then growing into the covert operations and overt authority that have defined American government in the nuclear era. According to Wills, this signals a radical break from the division of powers established by our founding fathers, enfeebling Congress and the courts as it threatens our Constitution. 

Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and University Bookstore

Jeff Halper PhD: Apartheid or Confederation? Monday 3/1/10 8-9pm and Wed. Noon-1pm PST

 Jeff Halper PhD: Apartheid or Confederation? TRT :58 Recorded 2/20/10

Jeff Halper is the Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and an Israeli-American peace activist, professor of anthropology, distinguished author, and internationally acclaimed speaker. In 2006 the American Friends Service Committee nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the author of a widely used resource manual of articles and maps Obstacles to Peace: A Re-Framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. His book, An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel chronicles his work against the Israeli Occupation.

This talk is a workshop he gave at the recent Friends of Sabeel [www.fosna.org] conference here in Seattle.  Jeff has long made the case that with the “facts on the ground”, i.e. the deliberate break-up of the Palestinian communities into small cantons separated by Israeli settlements, separation walls, check points, and Jewish only highways, the Zionist occupation has achieved it’s goal of making a Palestinian state unviable and through this “matrix of control” has led to the creation of an apartheid state.  This however, does not solve the conflict.   Jeff address this with an array of maps and charts and explores what are perhaps smarter solutions than the traditional one-state and two-state possibilities such as a Middle East confederation.   Then in the second half of his talk, with a series of slides, he takes us through an Israeli house demolition and shows the horrific effect it has on a Palestinian family.

Jack O'Dell and Nikhil Singh: Climbin' Jacob's Ladder, Monday 2/22/10 8-9pm and Wed. Noon-1 PST

Jack O'Dell and Nikhil Singh: Climbin' Jacob's Ladder. TRT 1:20 Recorded 2/6/10 

The great freedom fighter Jack O’Dell is one of the historic intellectual shapers of the black freedom movement and struggle for human rights in the United States.   He was a labor organizer in the 40s National Maritime Union who became a member of the outlawed Communist Party eventually finding his way into the inner circle of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with Martin Luther King.   He later became a key leader in the Rainbow Coalition.  O’Dell can be described as a Tom Paine of the black consciousness movement.  His essays in Freedomways Magazine which he edited from 1961 to 1985 influenced several decades of anti-racist struggle.  Climbin' Jacob's Ladder: The Black Freedom Movement Writings of Jack O'Dell is a recently published chronicle of O'Dell's long career through his own writings.  These were compiled by former University of Washington professor Nikhil Pal Singh, who has been described as one of the sharpest radical thinkers of his generation.  Dr. Singh is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at New York University.  He is the author of Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy.  Both Professor Singh and Jack O’Dell were on hand for this event recorded at the Northwest African American Museum.  Join us for a fascinating perspective from one of the greatest living political organizers of our times.


Thanks to Elliott Bay Books

Robert McChesney and John Nichols: The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers [to be broadcast 2/8 & 15, 8-9pm PST]

Robert McChesney and John Nichols: The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers. TRT 1:50 Recorded 1/18 & 19/10 

[complete video]

This talk, taped last month on Martin Luther King Day at Kane Hall will be broadcast in two parts.  This week we hear from Nation Magazine Political Correspondent John Nichols, with opening remarks by Professor Lance Bennett Dir., UW Center for Communication and Civic Engagement.  Next week will be University of Illinois Professor Robert McChesney and their answers to questions from the audience. 

Two years ago when the Bush administration’s FCC was forced by the two Democrats on the Commission to hold a series of public hearings on their scheme to consolidate the media even further into ever fewer and larger corporate media monopolies, I did my part along with millions of other outraged citizens and sent in a letter expressing my opposition.   I’ve long since forgotten what the letter I got back said.   It was boilerplate anyway, but I never forgot how it was addressed: “Dear Consumer”.  The computer program that cranks out these form letters must have gotten stuck and mistakenly used the same title they use to address some people other than media activists.  I wonder if there is one that says “Dear Zombie”:

            “Dear Zombie,

We were shocked and angered to hear that your local broadcast of “Lost” was interrupted by a public service announcement concerning a chlorine gas cloud from a train derailment in your area.  Rest assured that under our administration this will never happen again.  Our Republican commissioners are ever vigilant in our commitment to make sure that media consumers get their money’s worth.



Kevin J. Martin

Chairman, FCC.”


But seriously, the public groundswell that forced Congress to overrule the Bush Administration’s brazen attempt at further media consolidation must have caught them by surprise.  As McChesney and Nichols point out, the public is scared that the disintegration of the news media in the US is moving us toward a “propaganda state”.  And for good reason:  The century long privatization/consolidation process has finally played itself out.  Newspapers and other “old media”, which are the source of over 90% of real news, are rapidly dying out.  Last year 142 daily and weekly newspapers closed down and 90,000 lost their jobs in the newspaper, magazine, and book publishing industries.

You may think that you can get your information from the internet but somebody has to do the investigative journalism and write the copy.  Only a handful of journalists are able to make a living publishing on the internet.  At this time, 86% of news content is actually produced by Public Relations firms which are where two thirds of journalism students now end up working.  So what to do about it? 

The founders of this republic knew that the first responsibility of the state was to assure the existence of a “vibrant, independent, and uncensored 4th estate” without which “democracy and the rule of law” could not exist.  For this reason they went far beyond the language of the First Amendment and took actions to subsidize the creation of an independent free press.  This was the main purpose for the creation of the Post Office.  But this is not the only thing they did.  McChesney and Nichols say that the forgotten history of government subsidy of the press has been stolen from us.  They argue that it is time to get back to our historic roots and join the rest of the civilized world by returning to a recognition of news media as a public good with the subsidizing of public and community media as well as the study of journalism.

Robert McChesney and John Nichols are the founders of Free Press.  The title of their new book is: The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again”.  

Thanks to Todd Boyle for recording assistance

Noam Chomsky: When Elites Fail, Monday, 2/1/10 8-9 pm and Wed. Noon-1pm PST

Noam Chomsky: When Elites Fail. TRT 1:13 Recorded 10/09 


Noam Chomsky needs no introduction in these pages so I’m just going to go on as usual and give my rant: 

With the death of Howard Zinn this week, we lost one of our greatest teachers.  Reading “A People’s History of the United States” changed my life in a very profound way as did Chomsky and Herman’s “The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism” back around 1980.   Not to mention all the great books since.  The central theme of Zinn’s book is that change for the better never came from the top down.  It always came from popular struggle.  Howard devoted his life to undoing the myths and faux “great man theory” of US history that we all absorb from cradle to grave from the schools and other “doctrinal institutions” as Noam likes to call them.  In their place Zinn gives us a picture of who the real heroes of American history were as well as provides a template for how to live a heroic and rewarding life.

You might read in Zinn’s book of people like Emma Goldman who said: "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.”  That was a hundred years ago.  Is there anybody out there that doesn’t get it by now?  Chomsky talks about a “democratic deficit”.  It is the yardstick by which we can measure democracy.  It is the distance between what the public wants and government policy.   This chasm is so deep and has been there for so long in the United States that people take it for granted. 

I can’t help but comment on what happened today [1/29/10].  Obama in his seemingly never-ending quixotic quest for “bipartisanship” went to visit the House Republican leadership in a televised question and answer session.  It was hilariously funny to see him try to use rational discourse to directly address their questions and comments as they parroted their idiotic talking points.  No doubt, some of you are still puzzled by this.  After all, the Republicans never had a ‘super-majority’ and that didn’t stop them from passing their agenda.  And since when did Bush or Cheney try to work with the “other side”.  Is this really because we are so chronically nice that we would sell ourselves down the river to work with those who would gladly slit our throats? 

The Republican Party has now self destructed to the point where without Democrat help they wouldn’t be a factor.  Their game of using phony wedge issues to turn out the most gullible amongst us along with the resulting disastrous policies of the last administration have finally played out and driven everybody but the whackos away.  People are embarrassed to admit that they were Republicans.  All that are left are the truly dimwitted which apparently would include most of their congressional delegation.  That’s not enough to get them elected.  I would submit that in spite of their massive propaganda operation, if all the Republicans in congress had been up for election in the last election cycle there would be nothing left of the Republican Party. 

It’s gotten to the point where it is absurdly obvious.  It reminds me of that scene in Under Fire where Russell Price [Nick Nolte’s character] photographs the bullet ridden corpse of the guerrilla leader “Rafael” seated at a table as his comrades hold up his head to make it look like he is still alive.  Why are the Democrats frantically trying to resurrect the corps of the Republican Party?   Why do they keep acting like they need Republicans to pass the agenda that we supposedly gave them a ‘super majority’ to pass?   What if we gave them a ‘super-duper’ majority, would that make a difference?

People who are still puzzled by this obviously didn’t see this talk by Noam Chomsky, didn’t read Howard Zinn, and or forgot Emma Goldman.  There is only one agenda.  That is the elite agenda.  That is the Corporatist agenda.  Neoliberalism didn’t stop when we kicked out the Republicans but it did expose the ruse that the Democratic Party stands for the working class.  Without a “loyal opposition” it’s harder to pass the bill for saving the Wall Street bonus-heads onto the backs of the working stiffs [who still pay taxes] and keep a straight face. 

Those foolish people who turned out in droves to kick out the Republicans and then promptly went home and sat their asses back on the couch expecting the Democrats to fulfill their campaign promises now think they are going to teach them a lesson by staying home some more.  That’s what happened the last time the Democrats stabbed us squarely in the back by passing NAFTA.  It doesn’t work.  The election victory we just won is not the Democrat’s to piss away.  It belongs to us.  This planet and this country cannot survive another George Bush or Sarah Palin type administration.  That goes for this Demo-corporatist administration also.  Nature does not cut backroom deals.

The recent Supreme Court ruling: Citizens United v. FEC, the U.S. is the final nail in the coffin of electoral democracy in the United States.  It’s now official; we are in an advanced state of corporate fascism.  Mussolini sent the Italian Parliament packing and replaced them with the "Chamber of Fascist Corporations".  It was made up of representatives from the most powerful corporations in each district.  I defy anybody to explain to me how that is significantly different from what we have here now.  The only difference is that few people realize it.  The jack boots have been replaced by lobotomy by boob tube. 

What we need is rebellion.  I think it is inevitable.  I think it should start in the Democratic Party since that is where the periods of reform began that ended the previous two eras of corporate regime in US history –when the people took control of the party.  Instead of leaving in droves, progressives if they were smart, would be joining in droves and forcing primary challenges.  Phase one was ousting the Republicans.  We need to be organizing phase two which should have started a year ago- oust the Blue-dogs and Demo-publicans.  I’m afraid we’re going to have to be more than a little bit militant about it.  Corporate regimes don’t go away by being polite.  The old bulls don’t leave until the young bulls drive them out, as they say.   

Let’s take a look at what another one of our greatest teachers has to say about elite rule. -Ed 

This recording was taped at in October of 2009 in Portland Oregon at the Eco-Convergence Conference: the Northwest Regional Gathering on the Economic and Ecological Crisis and sent to me by Jim Lockhart: www.PhilosopherSeed.org.  It will be broadcast in two parts.  If you want to watch the whole thing at once, you can do it here as well as at the Philosopher Seed website.  The video can also be found on YouTube.  I did a bit of audio editing to lessen the effects of the feedback on the origional recording.   To scroll or stop and start the video, just download it.

Raj Patel: The Value of Nothing, Monday 1/25/10 8-9pm and Wed. Noon-1pm PST

Raj Patel: The Value of Nothing. TRT 1:09 Recorded 1/18/10

We’ve recently been tinkering around with the concepts of money, value, and wealth.  Last week we learned from some noted social scientists how gross income disparity is twisting our values and destroying the greater good (true value) of our society, harming the wellbeing (real wealth) of everyone.   Two months ago Thomas Greco explained how in reality money isn’t what we think it is, since it only exists in our minds.  Wait a second, did I say that?  For instance, bankers create it out of thin air whenever they make loans (and you too can create money).  We have seen how this power of greedy bankers to manipulate digits has been allowed to run amuck and collapse our economy.  [Bold and visionary editorial insertion: Had enough? Take your money out of Bank America and join a credit union right now!]

This week Food First activist Raj Patel is back on Pirate TV guiding us a little farther along our quest for clarity, taking a close look at how markets distort the value of everything.  Only those things that can be sold can have a price.  The problem is, the most valuable things we possess either can’t be sold or shouldn’t be owned.  And most wealth creation in the world exists entirely superfluous of markets.  As well they should.  Think of all those women who grow the food, cook the dinner, and raise the kids (not to mention: make the kids).  Think of all those essential services provided by those forests that have yet to be clear-cut.  If you added all these types of things up, it would dwarf the money economy by magnitudes, yet the value of these things are not taken into account because they are priceless –pardon me, can’t be priced.

This brings to mind that revolutionary1995 film: Who's Counting?: Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies, and Global Economics.  As you may recall, Marilyn, seeking a more fundamental understanding of the global economic system had gone to New York to examine the U.N. System of National Accounts.  This is the system that is imposed on every nation that joins the U.N.  She learned that the origins of this system stem from a pamphlet written in England during World War II entitled: "The British National Accounts and How to Pay for the War."  Since our entire modern day global economic system was created as a means to finance war, it goes a long way toward explaining why perpetual war has value and peace has none.  It all goes down hill from there.  By this system of accounting, nothing that doesn’t go through a market has value.  Hence: The Value of Nothing.  This slight oversight may very well spell the end of our accounts permanently.

Hats off to Raj for getting right to the heart of the matter, reminding us of something everyone should know and none should forget.  But he takes it a little farther than that.  He attempts to illumiate how we can get out of this mess.  The British Oxford scholar, now a US citizen (undeportable) once worked for the World Bank and the WTO and has been teargassed on four continents protesting against their policies.  In addition to his numerous academic positions and involvements in pro-democracy struggles, he is a Fellow at Food First, also known as the Institute of Food and Development Policy and is the author of the bestseller Stuffed and Starved.  The full title of his new book is: The Value of Nothing: How to reshape market society and redefine democracy.
Thanks to Elliott Bay Books and Seattle Town Hall

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett -The Spirit Level, Monday 1/18/10 8-9pm and Wed. 12-1pm PST

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. TRT 1:31 Recorded 1/8/10 

If you want to destroy a society, there is nothing more effective than increasing the gap between rich and poor.  British epidemiologists Wilkinson and Pickett discuss the latest evidence that gross income inequality is bad for everyone, rich and poor alike.  -Looks like greed is NOT good.

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s new book is The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better.

Thanks to the Town Hall Center for Civic Life and University Book Store

David Swanson: Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, Monday 1/10/10 8-9pm and Wed. 12-1pm PST

David Swanson: Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union. TRT 1:08 Recorded 1/5/10 

In a recent article:  Why Democrats Are Trying to Commit Electoral Suicide, Ian Welsh cites the statistic that “Forty-five percent of the Democratic base now says they aren't going to vote in 2010 or are thinking of not voting.”  Ian gives as good an explanation for why the Democratic Party power structure [the party within the party] appears to be so “politically stupid” as any I’ve seen yet.  Now that we’re on the same page because you’ve all read the article, I’m going to take it a step even farther.  I don’t believe the Democratic Party elite particularly like the idea that we gave them an overwhelming majority in Congress.  They like the “good cop - bad cop” ruse and giving them too much power makes them look bad.

And it’s wearing pretty thin.  The health insurance debate (lets call it what it is) is a good example.  The best they can come up with is to force us to pay through the nose to the CIGNAs of the world who profit “wildly” by denying care when we most need it killing 45 thousand of us every year and then blaming it on Lieberman.  While we sit here discussing how we need to dump the evil boogieman, let us not forget, the good people of Connecticut already tried that.  He lost the Democratic primary to a perfectly good progressive Democrat who for some strange reason couldn’t muster any support from the Democratic Party proper.  He proceeded to switch party affiliation to independent and won with oceans of corporate money and Republican votes. 

So if he wants to filibuster, why don’t they make the old jerk get out there with his phone books and earn his pay?  Or better yet, why not just change the filibuster rule?  As David Swanson says: “Show me where in the Constitution it mentions the filibuster?”  The debate cut-off threshold has been raised and lowered many times.  Why not eliminate the filibuster all together?  It only takes 50 votes.  Weren’t “they” always threatening to do it?  Why don’t “we” just once give “them” some of their own medicine?   The answer is that the “we”, are actually the suckers in the grassroots department of the Democratic Party who go around our precincts passing out the propaganda so that “they” the corporatist party elite can vote to stab us in the back on all the major issues, toss us a few crumbs, and come back and get adulation because our expectation level has been reduced to zilch.  Yay for our side.

The whole thing is a dog and pony show.  Viewers will remember last time Howard Dean was here he said that we should just skip the whole process and take the health care bill straight to conference committee.  (Apparently the idea of dumping the filibuster rule never occurred to him.)   Now just to make sure no progressive provisions have a chance to be debated, Pelosi and Reid have decided that they are going to skip that part and take it straight to the back room.  What happens is that they sit around and figure out the latest scheme to screw the middle class, Pelosi and Reid twist the arms of the Democrats and then they figure out how to make it look like there was some kind of democratic process.   They’re not that worried about anybody catching on.  Where are you going to go?  What are you going to do?  The pattern is the same no matter what the issue.

Everyone I’ve been talking to regardless of their level of political sophistication is livid.  Democracy is dead and it is becoming obvious to everybody.  Voting doesn’t work.  The government cannot solve problems.  Everybody with any snap is already sick to death of Obama.  -Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.  And we are rapidly running out of time.  No matter which cop is in power the best they can offer is to make the situation worse.  People are leaving the Democratic Party in droves, Labor is fed up and just like after Clinton passed NAFTA, the best idea anybody can come up with is to commit ritual suicide.  That’ll teach ‘um.  It’s Déjà vu all over again and again and again.  Out of the frying pan, into the fire and back again we go. 

It’s about time we started thinking outside the box.  What we need is an old fashioned down home rebellion.  I know!  Let’s take back the Democratic Party!  Wait, I’ve been saying that for ten years.  You all don’t want to hear that.  Ho hum…

In his introduction, Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign called David Swanson an amazing Tom Paine/ Thomas Jefferson of our time.  He is the creator of ImpeachCheney.org, the Washington Director of Democrats.com and co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, of the Backbone Campaign, and of Voters for Peace. He serves on a working group of United for Peace and Justice. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign. His website is www.davidswanson.org.  He’s got some ideas about how we can restore democracy, so do I.  Let’s hear his first.