Archive 3: 2010
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.
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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.
Wendell Potter: Corporate PR is Killing Healthcare,
Monday 12/27/10 8-9pm PST, repeats at noon Wed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Achieve Universal Primary Education
By 2015, ensure that all boys and girls complete primary school.
Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.
Reduce Child Mortality
By 2015, reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five.
Improve Maternal Health
By 2015, reduce by three quarters the ratio of women who die during childbirth.
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.
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
Unfinished Business: Stopping Torture Forever, Monday 11/22/10 8-9pm
PST, repeats at noon Wed.
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.
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.
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.
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
American Taliban, Monday 10/18/10 8-9pm PST
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
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
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
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".
1999, David co-
Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and Elliott Bay Books
Guerrilla USA, Monday 8/30/10 8-9pm PST
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
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
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 Alwell. Vancouver(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:
FIRE THIS TIME
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
John Judge : There Must Be some Way Out of Here pt.2: The Creation of Real Democracy, Monday 8/2/10
In this two-part talk “alternative historian” extraordinaire
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
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
Abe Osheroff: A Conversation with Abe,
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
Schermerhorn & Hazim Shafi: Crisis in Gaza,
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
talks about the humanitarian aspects of what it's like in
talks were excepted from a conference given June 25th at St.
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
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
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
On February 25th, 7 of the delegates from the
WPSR's next report back from it's Spring 2010 trip to
Amy Goodman: Drilling, Spilling,
& Killing from Oil Wells to Oil Wars, Wed. 7/7/10 Noon-1pm PST
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,
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.
to Seattle The Town Hall and Elliott Bay Book Company.
Korten: A New Game; A New Economy,
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
David Korten: A New Game; A New Economy,
Kintisch: Hack the Planet, Monday 6/21/10 8-9pm PST
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
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
Video by Bill Alford
Hartmann: Unequal Protection (Slight Return).
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
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.
The Whidbey Institute,
Video by Landon Hendee
Pete Knutson: Where We Go From Here,
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
Loeb: Soul of a Citizen, Monday 5/31/10 8-9pm PST
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
Hedges: War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, Wed. 6/2/10 Noon-1pm PST
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
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
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
Super-Rich Can Save Us! Monday 5/1710 7-9pm PST
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,
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,
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
gave this Keynote Speech Saturday 4/24 at the War & Global Health
Conference. Professor McCoy is introduced
Congressman Jim McDermott (D) 7th Congressional District,
first decade of the Cold War, the CIA and allied security agencies
form of psychological torture whose defining attributes —
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
language that would be encoded verbatim in four major Federal laws from
1996-2006, creating a legal basis for revival of these extreme methods
the Bush Administration and impunity for perpetrators under Obama.
is the author of many books including the groundbreaking: “The
S. Wittner is an author and Professor of History at State University of
York/Albany. A former president of the Council on Peace Research in
(now the Peace History Society), he has written extensively on the
peace movements and on the history of
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.
Elias: The Empire Strikes
From the Civil War to the
Iraq War, baseball has played a
central, and perhaps unexpected, role in mythologizing the American
first at home and then beyond. But is the modern face of baseball that
goodwill ambassador, or ugly American? Robert Elias, author of the
Empire Strikes Out,
says baseball and
Leonard: The Story of Stuff,
Town Hall Talk Films
and environmental health expert Annie
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
of Manufacturers (to be specific), came to the conclusion that the
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 happy. And just think how unhappy
we are going to be when the bill, the one the TV is not talking about
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.
is a former coordinator of
the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption.
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
Thanks to Seatle Town Hall and
Helen Caldicott: Why Nuclear Power is Not a Solution to Global Warming, Wed. 4/28/10 Noon-1pm PST
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
puts to bed
permanently the notion being touted by the denizons of big energy that
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
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
coal”, nuclear is green only on Madison Avenue.
4/19/10 Two Shows this Week:
ago I heard Noam
Chomsky say that people in the
took me years to begin
to comprehend the profound nature of what
Chomsky was talking about. In fact
still peeling that onion. If the
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
Becker has been
Becker is a noted writer and commentator on
In January 2000, Becker was co-leader of the Iraq Sanctions Challenge, which delivered $2 million of medicine to
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
was recorded March 7, at the HUB Auditorium on
Ali Abunimah: The Crisis in Israel/Palestine: Toward a Just Solution,
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
L. Marcy: The Politics of Cocaine,
With the Mexican
narco-state continuing it’s ongoing disintegration
before our very eyes into violent gangland style chaos that would have
even Al Capone blush, historian William L. Marcy takes another look at
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
least in its stated purpose has been and ever will be a dismal failure
acts as a price support mechanism for the very economy it claims to
target. William L. Marcy is assistant
James Hollis: What
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
McKinney: Don’t Get Tired When Working for
would happen if
there was a real life “Mr.
Smith” that went to
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.
like to argue that Europeans pay higher taxes which stifle innovation
wealth creation. The opposite is
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.
Happened? I would argue that
Next question: What do we do about it? I would argue that whatever that would be, be had better get moving fast.
title of Steve Hill’s book is:
Donna Smith, Rep. Jim McDermott, & Larry Kalb, Single Payer Healthcare Forum, Monday 3/15/10 8-9pm PST
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.
recently honored as the National Organization for
Women’s (NOW’s) 2009 Woman of Action and first came to the
in Michael Moore’s 2007 movie, “SICKO.” Despite
having health insurance and even a health savings account, Donna and
husband Larry were forced to move into their daughter’s basement
unable to pay staggering health care costs—and were left in
ruin. Donna’s husband, Larry, suffered three heart attacks
and Donna was
diagnosed and treated for cancer. There is a scene in the movie
Michael Moore takes Donna to
Jim McDermott has represented
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
Gary Wills: Bomb Power, Monday 3/8/10 and Wed. Noon-1pm PST
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
Jeff Halper PhD: Apartheid or Confederation? Monday 3/1/10 and Wed. Noon-1pm PST
Jeff Halper is the
Director of the Israeli Committee Against House
Demolitions (ICAHD) and an Israeli-American peace activist, professor
anthropology, distinguished author, and internationally acclaimed
2006 the American Friends Service Committee nominated him for the Nobel
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
Jack O'Dell and Nikhil
Singh: Climbin' Jacob's Ladder,
great freedom fighter
Jack O’Dell is one
of the historic intellectual shapers of the black freedom movement and
for human rights in the
Robert McChesney and John Nichols: The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers [to be broadcast 2/8 & 15, 8-9pm PST]
This talk, taped last
month on Martin Luther King Day at Kane Hall will be broadcast in
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
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
their scheme to consolidate the media even further into ever fewer and
corporate media monopolies, I did my part along with millions of other
citizens and sent in a letter expressing my opposition.
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
address some people other than media activists. I
wonder if there is one that says “Dear
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
But seriously, the public
groundswell that forced Congress to overrule
the Bush Administration’s brazen attempt at further media
have caught them by surprise. As
McChesney and Nichols point out, the public is scared that the
of the news media in the
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 needs no introduction in these pages so I’m just going to go on as usual and give my rant:
death of Howard Zinn this week, we lost one of our greatest
Reading “A People’s History of the
read in Zinn’s book of people like Emma Goldman who said: "If
changed anything, they'd make it illegal.” That was a
ago. Is there anybody out there that doesn’t get it by
talks about a “democratic deficit”. It is the
yardstick by which we can
measure democracy. It is the distance between what the public
government policy. This chasm is so deep and has been there
long in the
help but comment on what happened today [
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.
Supreme Court ruling: Citizens United
v. FEC, the
need is rebellion. I think it is inevitable. I think it
start in the Democratic Party since that is where the periods of reform
that ended the previous two eras of corporate regime in
Let’s take a look at what another one of our greatest teachers has to say about elite rule. -Ed
recording was taped at in October of 2009 in
Raj Patel: The Value of Nothing, Monday 1/25/10 8-9pm and Wed. Noon-1pm PST
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!]
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett -The Spirit Level, Monday 1/18/10 and Wed.
to destroy a society, there is nothing more effective than increasing
between rich and poor. British
Wilkinson and Pickett discuss the latest evidence that gross income
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
David Swanson: Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, Monday 1/10/10 8-9pm and Wed. 12-1pm PST
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.