Saturday, August 31, 2013

JJ Cale: Naturally

Sorry to hear of JJ Cale's recent death -- take a listen to one of his great albums

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Josh Eidelson -- Largest fast food strike ever today: 58 cities will be affected

Largest fast food strike ever today: 58 cities will be affected
Work stoppage will hit about a thousand shops and several cities in the south today, as workers seek fair wages
By Josh Eidelson

That’s what the organizers of today’s strike are out to do. While workers say they’ve already achieved some incremental store-specific victories – from scheduling changes, to raises, to the restoration of a tip jar – it’s too soon to say if they’ll succeed. But they’re already drawing near-unparalleled attention from local and national media — and within organized labor. Though identified primarily with SEIU, which isn’t in the AFL-CIO, the fast food campaign gets frequent mention in a July report to the AFL-CIO executive council summarizing the pre-convention conversations that federation has been holding across the country.

Among the aspects of the strikers’ strategy: an attack on all the companies in the industry, executed in collaboration among a range of progressive groups, including political, media, consumer, and legal angles, all anchored by one-day strikes designed to maximize impact and minimize risk – most of them carried out by a minority of a store’s workforce, with less focus on shutting down business than on embarrassing corporations and engaging co-workers and the larger public.

“At first, I was nervous,” said Chicago Subway employee Felix Mendez, who’ll be striking for the third time today. Still, he told Salon he took the lead in getting all of his three co-workers to participate in the prior strikes, shutting down their store. “If we just sit back and do nothing about it,” he recalled telling them, “we’re never going to get what we want.” Mendez said he makes $8.25 an hour after working at Subway for three years. “Before, I wasn’t really too serious about anything…” said Mendez. “I have changed a whole lot since I’ve been part of this union.”

“Workers have really taken charge,” said Rev. Martin Rafanan, the community director for STL Can’t Survive on $7.35, the St. Louis fast food effort. “They’ve called for this strike because it’s an opportunity to continue to expand their numbers and expand their geography.” He expressed hope that today’s strike would “make a big splash in terms of folks beginning to see this as a national movement.” Rafanan, who co-chairs the workers rights board of the Missouri chapter of the labor-community group Jobs with Justice, said last week that about 200 St. Louis fast food workers were involved in organizing towards the strike. He told Salon that, beyond the sites where workers and others have been furiously organizing in recent weeks, “there’s a good chance” of workers in other stores or cities walking off the job today without any prior contact with the campaign.

Where will it all lead? A source present at a meeting SEIU held earlier this month with allies told Salon that potential strategies under discussion included a campaign for state referenda to allow cities to raise fast food wages, and a push for top burger corporations to jointly agree to eat the cost of increased labor costs. Asked whether the efforts could end in a deal in which corporations accept union negotiations and the union agrees before formal bargaining to cap new labor costs or carve out certain regions, SEIU strategist Scott Courtney answered, “It could be something like that.” SEIU President Mary Kay Henry said, “I think anything you know about traditional collective bargaining is possible, and then things we haven’t imagined.”

Asked about such a scenario, Rafanan said, “I’m for any tactic or strategy at this point which can move us forward, all right? And there are a lot of us, people have been discussing these things, a variety of these things. But where I’m standing, I’m a community ally, so my goal is to stand with workers. I believe that workers should make decisions about how they’re going to organize their industry.”

As an example of effective collective action, Rafanan related how the campaign had beaten back alleged retaliation against a St. Louis striker earlier this month. According to Rafanan, when workers returned from the work stoppage, a Popeyes manager fired one of them and “was very adamant that the person would not get their job back.” In response, activists “blocked the drive-through and had taken over the counter,” drawing several police cars. Before the situation escalated to arrests, said Rafanan, the franchisee owner arrived and, after a conversation with a local councilmember on the scene to support the workers, agreed to reinstate the employee. “This is the kind of thing we feel we can do when we don’t get a response,” said Rafanan.

Cornell’s Bronfenbrenner argued that having community allies escort workers back to work to ward off post-strike retaliation was the campaign’s most important innovation, and a testament to the deep community ties the campaign had built. “As long as they can keep the bosses from beating them down by having the eyes of the world always on them, keep the campaign in the sunshine,” she said, “they have a chance.” Because a national fast food corporation could simply cut off the franchise contract of any local store owner who started bargaining collectively with workers, noted Bronfenbrenner, winning unionization would require compelling corporations to forswear union-busting. “So it’s either going to be big,” she said, “or it’s not going to happen.”

Sociologist Stanley Aronowitz, who directs the Center for the Study of Culture, Technology and Work at the City University of New York, credited the campaign with “putting tremendous pressure, good pressure, on the fast food chains to raise their wages.” But he expressed concern that SEIU would be too quick to make a deal with corporations restricting future strikes. “They have gotten this far because they have taken direct action, and they have expanded their direct action efforts,” Aronowitz told Salon. “If they decide to settle down prematurely, I think they will duplicate what happened to the United Auto Workers, and what’s happened to the public employees unions, which is basically that they’re put permanently on the defensive.”

Today’s strike comes one day after the fiftieth anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. According to Rev. Rafanan, St. Louis strikers will honor the march, and a subsequent local protest in which civil rights activists chained themselves to the Jefferson Bank, by participating in a civil disobedience training this afternoon. Asked if that means we’ll see more fast food workers mounting civil disobedience, Rafanan said, “Certainly that’s where we’re ramping up to.”

Julio Wilson said the march’s anniversary “ties in perfectly” with the strikes’ spread south. Wilson told Salon the example of Martin Luther King “has inspired me personally to stand up for what I believe in, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.” Asked how many of his Raleigh store’s twenty employees would join the first-of-its-kind strike, he answered, “Hopefully all of them.”

To Read the Entire Article

Michelle Alexander: Remarks on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

For the past several years, I have spent virtually all my working hours writing about or speaking about the immorality, cruelty, racism, and insanity of our nation's latest caste system: mass incarceration. On this Facebook page I have written and posted about little else. But as I pause today to reflect on the meaning and significance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I realize that my focus has been too narrow. Five years after the March, Dr. King was speaking out against the Vietnam War, condemning America's militarism and imperialism - famously stating that our nation was the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world." He saw the connections between the wars we wage abroad, and the utter indifference we have for poor people, and people of color at home. He saw the necessity of openly critiquing an economic system that will fund war and will reward greed, hand over fist, but will not pay workers a living wage. Five years after the March on Washington, Dr. King was ignoring all those who told him to just stay in his lane, just stick to talking about civil rights. Yet here I am decades later, staying in my lane. I have not been speaking publicly about the relationship between drones abroad and the War on Drugs at home. I have not been talking about the connections between the corrupt capitalism that bails out Wall Street bankers, moves jobs overseas, and forecloses on homes with zeal, all while private prisons yield high returns and expand operations into a new market: caging immigrants. I have not been connecting the dots between the NSA spying on millions of Americans, the labeling of mosques as "terrorist organizations," and the spy programs of the 1960s and 70s - specifically the FBI and COINTELPRO programs that placed civil rights advocates under constant surveillance, infiltrated civil rights organizations, and assassinated racial justice leaders. I have been staying in my lane. But no more. In my view, the most important lesson we can learn from Dr. King is not what he said at the March on Washington, but what he said and did after. In the years that followed, he did not play politics to see what crumbs a fundamentally corrupt system might toss to the beggars of justice. Instead he connected the dots and committed himself to building a movement that would shake the foundations of our economic and social order, so that the dream he preached in 1963 might one day be a reality for all. He said that nothing less than "a radical restructuring of society" could possibly ensure justice and dignity for all. He was right. I am still committed to building a movement to end mass incarceration, but I will not do it with blinders on. If all we do is end mass incarceration, this movement will not have gone nearly far enough. A new system of racial and social control will be born again, all because we did not do what King demanded we do: connect the dots between poverty, racism, militarism and materialism. I'm getting out of my lane. I hope you're already out of yours.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Charlene deGuzman: I Forgot My Phone

(via Neetzan Zimmerman's "Short Film About Smartphone Overuse Is Smart, Poignant, Depressing"

More from Charlene deGuzman

Lauren Williams: This Black, Gay, Badass Pacifist Mastermind of the March on Washington Is Finally Getting His Due

This Black, Gay, Badass Pacifist Mastermind of the March on Washington Is Finally Getting His Due
by Lauren Williams
Mother Jones

Bayard Rustin was for years one of the least known and celebrated major players in the civil rights movement. Now Martin Luther King Jr.'s trusted adviser—the black, gay, "badass" pacifist who organized the March on Washington—is finally getting his due 50 years after the landmark demonstration.

Rustin, born in Pennsylvania in 1912 and raised by his grandfather and his Quaker grandmother—who, along with Mahatma Gandhi, influenced his philosophy of pacifism—had his hand in several major moments in a fight for equality that would span his entire life. He helped organize and participated in the first freedom ride, 1947’s "Journey of Reconciliation" (for which he and several other participants were jailed and put in a chain gang). In the 1950s, he advised, strategized, and raised money behind the scenes for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, helping to direct King's rise to national prominence. He's also credited with honing the King's nonviolent strategy. Later, Rustin was the mastermind of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (now simply known as the March on Washington), organizing it in just two months. But Rustin was kept in the shadows by the homophobia of both his enemies (segregationist Strom Thurmond used Rustin's sexuality to denigrate the movement) and his allies.

"We must look back with sadness at the barriers of bigotry built around his sexuality," NAACP Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond, who knew and worked with Rustin, wrote in the forward for 2012's I Must Resist, a book of Rustin's letters. "We are the poorer for it."

Although prejudice kept Rustin behind the scenes—and out of history books—his name is finally making headlines. In March, President Obama awarded Rustin, who died in 1987, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The National Black Justice Coalition, a black LGBT civil rights organization, launched a movement to celebrate Rustin on what would have been his 100th birthday in 2012 and created the Bayard Rustin 2013 Commemorative Project, which highlights his contributions to the March on Washington.

To Read the Rest

Audioslave: Audioslave

Phyllis Bennis: Journalist/Global Peace Movement/Institute for Policy Studies

Institute for Policy Studies: Phyllis Bennis

Transnational Institute: Phyllis Bennis

The Nation: Phyllis Bennis

Mondoweiss: Phyllis Bennis

Resources by/about Phyllis Bennis:

Bennis, Phyllis. "As Fighting Continues in Tripoli, A Look at Role of the U.S., NATO and Oil Firms in Libya Uprising." Democracy Now (August 23, 2011)

---. "As Strikes on Syria Loom, Is U.S. Ignoring a Diplomatic Track That Could Prevent More Violence?" Democracy Now (August 28, 2013)

---. "Israel-Palestine Peace Talks." Law and Disorder Radio (August 12, 2013)

---. "Moral Obscenities in Syria." Institute for Policy Studies (August 27, 2013)

---. "Syrian split a real danger due to wars within war." RT (August 9, 2013)

---. "Way Worse Than a Dumb War: Iraq Ten Years Later." The Nation (March 18, 2013)

Desvarieux, Jessica. "There Is No Military Solution to Syria." TruthOut (August 28, 2013)

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Where Do We Go From Here

The King speech that Obama won't be quoting:

'There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life's market place. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, "Who owns the oil?" You begin to ask the question, "Who owns the iron ore?" You begin to ask the question, "Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two thirds water?" These are questions that must be asked.'

To Read the speech

Democracy Now: As Strikes on Syria Loom, Is U.S. Ignoring a Diplomatic Track That Could Prevent More Violence?

As Strikes on Syria Loom, Is U.S. Ignoring a Diplomatic Track That Could Prevent More Violence?
Democracy Now

Britain is set to introduce a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing military action in Syria as the United States and allies gear up for expected strikes on the Assad regime. The resolution condemns the Syrian government for allegedly using chemical weapons and authorizes "necessary measures for protecting civilians." Russia and China are expected to issue a veto, raising the prospect that a U.S.-led bombing could come through NATO. The Obama administration says military action in Syria would be aimed at responding to chemical attacks, not seeking regime change, but critics say similar claims were made at the outset of the NATO intervention in Libya. "There is no military solution," says Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies. "Extra assaults from the United States are going to make the situation worse, put Syrian civilians at greater risk, and not provide protection."

To Watch the Episode

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ultraculture - Jason Louv: Watch a Jaw-Dropping Visualization of Every Protest Since 1979

Watch a Jaw-Dropping Visualization of Every Protest Since 1979
by Jason Louv

Penn State doctoral candidate John Beieler has created a time-lapse visualization of every protest on the planet since 1979. And it is jaw-dropping, and I mean that in a real way, not in a BS blogger-overhyping-this-incredible-amazing-thing way. No, this is truly amazing, because what you’ll see is tiny blips popping off here and there in the 1970s—a time we think of as highly politically charged—and nearly eclipsing the world starting with the late 90s anti-globalization protests and the second Iraq War up till our present moment.

I would love to see this overlaid with time-lapse visualizations of other factors: global warming, globalization, wars, food shortage, and the spread of the Internet.

Also fruitful: Comparing this data with media coverage and treatment of protest. Why is it easy to think of the 1960s and 70s as a time of dissent and our time as a more ordered, controlled and conformist period when the data so clearly shows that there is no comparison in how much protest there is now compared to then? Media distortion much?

To see -- 250 million protests worldwide, from 1979-2013, visualized in one time-lapse image

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The New York Review of Books - James Bamford: They Know Much More Than You Think

They Know Much More Than You Think
by James Bamford
The New York Review of Books

In mid-May, Edward Snowden, an American in his late twenties, walked through the onyx entrance of the Mira Hotel on Nathan Road in Hong Kong and checked in. He was pulling a small black travel bag and had a number of laptop cases draped over his shoulders. Inside those cases were four computers packed with some of his country’s most closely held secrets.

Within days of Snowden’s documents appearing in The Guardian and The Washington Post, revealing several of the National Security Agency’s extensive domestic surveillance programs, bookstores reported a sudden spike in the sales of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984. On, the book made the “Movers & Shakers” list and skyrocketed 6,021 percent in a single day. Written sixty-five years ago, it described a fictitious totalitarian society where a shadowy leader known as “Big Brother” controls his population through invasive surveillance. “The telescreens,” Orwell wrote, “have hidden microphones and cameras. These devices, alongside informers, permit the Thought Police to spy upon everyone….”

Today, as the Snowden documents make clear, it is the NSA that keeps track of phone calls, monitors communications, and analyzes people’s thoughts through data mining of Google searches and other online activity. “Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it,” Orwell wrote about his protagonist, Winston Smith.

There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

Of course the US is not a totalitarian society, and no equivalent of Big Brother runs it, as the widespread reporting of Snowden’s information shows. We know little about what uses the NSA makes of most information available to it—it claims to have exposed a number of terrorist plots—and it has yet to be shown what effects its activities may have on the lives of most American citizens. Congressional committees and a special federal court are charged with overseeing its work, although they are committed to secrecy, and the court can hear appeals only from the government.

Still, the US intelligence agencies also seem to have adopted Orwell’s idea of doublethink—“to be conscious of complete truthfulness,” he wrote, “while telling carefully constructed lies.” For example, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, was asked at a Senate hearing in March whether “the NSA collect[s] any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Clapper’s answer: “No, sir…. Not wittingly.”

Three months later, following the revelations of the phone-log program in which the NSA collects telephone data—the numbers of both callers and the length of the calls—on hundreds of millions of Americans, Clapper switched to doublethink. He said that his previous answer was not a lie; he just chose to respond in the “least untruthful manner.” With such an Orwellian concept of the truth now being used, it is useful to take a look at what the government has been telling the public about its surveillance activities over the years, and compare it with what we know now as a result of the top secret documents and other information released by, among others, the former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden.

Looking back, the NSA and its predecessors have been gaining secret, illegal access to the communications of Americans for nearly a century. On July 1, 1920, a slim balding man in his early thirties moved into a four-story townhouse at 141 East 37th Street in Manhattan. This was the birth of the Black Chamber, the NSA’s earliest predecessor, and it would be hidden in the nondescript brownstone. But its chief, Herbert O. Yardley, had a problem. To gather intelligence for Woodrow Wilson’s government, he needed access to the telegrams entering, leaving, and passing through the country, but because of an early version of the Radio Communications Act, such access was illegal. With the shake of a hand, however, Yardley convinced Newcomb Carlton, the president of Western Union, to grant the Black Chamber secret access on a daily basis to the private messages passing over his wires—the Internet of the day.

For much of the next century, the solution would be the same: the NSA and its predecessors would enter into secret illegal agreements with the telecom companies to gain access to communications. Eventually codenamed Project Shamrock, the program finally came to a crashing halt in 1975 when a Senate committee that was investigating intelligence agency abuses discovered it. Senator Frank Church, the committee chairman, labeled the NSA program “probably the largest governmental interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken.”

To Read the Rest

Moyers & Company: John Lewis Marches On

John Lewis Marches on
Moyers & Company

Bill Moyers and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) meet to share experiences and revelations about the momentous March on Washington both attended 50 years ago.

Their discussion takes them to the spot in front of the Lincoln Memorial where Lewis, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bayard Rustin, Roy Wilkins, and others famously spoke about freedom and justice, creating critical momentum for both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. While there, Moyers and Lewis attract the attention of schoolchildren, and conduct a spontaneous living history lesson.

The March on Washington is largely remembered for King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The 23-year-old Lewis, newly named to lead the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was the youngest of the featured speakers, but among the most defiant.

Now a 14-term congressman from Georgia, Lewis shares new insight into how the event unfolded — including last-minute conflicts over his own manuscript. He also discusses the continuing challenges to racial and economic equality, and his unwavering dedication to nonviolence and brotherly love as a means toward a more just end — even when facing inevitable violence and brutality.

“To look out and see the best of America convinced me more than anything else that this is the product, this is the work of the movement,” Lewis tells Bill. “Sometimes you have to not just dream about what could be — you get out and push and you pull and you preach. And you create a climate and environment to get those in high places, to get men and women of good will in power to act.”

Threading rarely-seen documentary footage into their conversation, Bill — who was deputy director of the newly-created Peace Corps at the time — also shares his own memories of the day. He concludes with an essay about how the goal of equal rights and opportunities for all Americans — so championed at the March on Washington — continues to elude us.

“But for a few hours that day,” Bill says, “we could imagine what this country might yet become.”

To Listen to the Episode

Jonathan Kirshner - The Whole World Is Watching: Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool

The Whole World Is Watching: Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool on DVD
by Jonathan Kirshner
Bright Lights Film Journal

Medium Cool (1969) was a project shadowed by the FBI, saddled with a market-inhibiting X rating, and released with tepid support from a nervous studio. Not surprisingly, despite attracting very favorable reviews, it was not big hit at the box office. But over the years its reputation rose steadily, and eventually the movie found its proper place in the pantheon of the great films of the New Hollywood era. A worthy recipient, then, of the full Criterion Treatment, with a sparkling new special edition DVD and Blu-Ray; among its many features are a new interview with writer-director-cinematographer Haskell Wexler and the very welcome inclusion of (a slightly edited version of) the valuable but obscure 2001 BBC television documentary about the film, Look Out Haskell, It's Real."

As his triple-threat credits suggest, Medium Cool was very much Wexler's project. One of the hottest cinematographers in the business — just off an academy-award winning turn for Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf (1966) and the big hit In the Heat of the Night (1967) — and with the emergence of a New American Cinema that took low-budget chances on new talent, Wexler was given a shot at the director's chair. And to his credit, the ambitious, confident cameraman didn't play it safe but threw everything he had into a risky project that he believed in.

With a background in documentary filmmaking, Wexler was influenced by a philosophy associated with the French New Wave (many of whose participants had similar apprenticeships), that challenged the reification of a divide between "fiction" and "non-fiction" films. Documentaries, they insisted, could not show an objective truth but offered only one interpretation of events, presented as a narrative following classical storytelling rules; realities that were, moreover, altered by the presence of cameras that produced self-consciousness and performance. Conversely, fiction films, especially those made on locations and with a new wave sensibility designed to reflect the personal experiences of their creators, were in many ways also documentary records of a certain type of reality. With Medium Cool, Wexler dove headlong into the blurry intersection between the two, embedding a fictional (and often improvised) story within very real situations. Often featuring non-actors going about their unscripted business, in many scenes only the principal players are aware that a movie is being made. At times those actors were exposed to real danger — placed, for example, in the midst of what the report of a National Commission would describe a few months afterwards as a "police riot." On the streets of Chicago, Wexler's camera became one among many that were capturing the events as they unfolded — and he was among those tear gassed, and was blinded for twenty-four hours.

The politically sensitive Wexler was irresistibly drawn from Hollywood back to his home town, Chicago, and the Democratic National Convention that would be held there in August 1968. Convinced that "something" would happen there — a violent confrontation, of some type, seemed certain — he crafted a story that could be interwoven into those events, unforeseeable in their specifics, as they unfolded. Wexler was later accused of incitement, but his cameras did little more than anticipate the inevitable explosion. Nineteen sixty-eight took care of the rest.

It was a very bad year. In January, the surprise Tet Offensive fundamentally altered the trajectory of the Vietnam War. The unprecedented communist strikes failed to achieve their military goals, but they made plain that no matter how many troops it poured in, the United States was not going to achieve its political objectives in the war, despite the unceasingly optimistic reports previously proffered by the Johnson Administration. (The U.S. would suffer over 4,700 combat deaths in the first three months of 1968. And with 500,000 American troops in the country, the war was being fought — at best — to a bloody stalemate.) In March, Johnson was embarrassed in the New Hampshire democratic primary by the strong showing of anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy; within days, Robert Kennedy dropped into the race; within weeks, LBJ shocked the nation by dropping out. In April, Martin Luther King was assassinated. Kennedy, campaigning in Indianapolis, delivered the news to a stunned, mostly black audience, and delivered a short, moving speech appealing for calm. Scores of American cities erupted in riots that night, but Indianapolis was not one of them. In June, Kennedy would be assassinated moments after celebrating victory in the crucial California primary, his final words, "on to Chicago and let's win there," still hanging in the air as the shots rang out.

To Read the Rest

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Deja Vu

Conversations with History: Glenn Greenwald

What Did Bradley Manning Reveal?

"What Bradley Manning revealed:

1.) Official policy of US Govt to ignore torture in Iraq.
2.) Child Abuse and Human trafficking by US security contractors.
3.) Guantanamo prison holds mostly innocent people.
4.) The official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
5.) U.S. Military withheld info about indiscriminate killing of Journalists & Iraqi civilians.
6.) US State Department backed corporate opposition to minimum wage in Haiti, in one of the poorest countries in the world.
7.) The U.S. Government had long been faking its public support for Tunisian President Ben Ali.
8.) Known Egyptian torturers received training from the FBI.
9.) State Dept authorized theft of UN Secretary General’s DNA. Credit card details, passwords etc.
10.) In 2008 Japanese and U.S. Governments had been warned about seismic threat at Fukushima.
11.) Obama Administration allowed Yemen’s President cover up secret U.S. drone bombing campaign which has killed mainly civilians including children."

Source and For background details on each of these

ENG 102 Extra Credit for Fall 2013

September 11: L'Atalante/Zéro de conduite (double-feature) Jean Vigo completed only four films before his death at age 29. L'Atalante, the 1934 masterpiece of French poetic realism, is his only feature length work. Critic Roger Ebert said, "This is the kind of movie you return to like a favorite song, remembering where you were and how it made you feel..." The playful and anarchistic Zéro de conduite, first shown in 1933 and subsequently banned in France until 1946, is a short piece that was a direct influence on, amongst others, Lindsay Anderson's If.... and Truffaut's The 400 Blows. Part of the Rosa Goddard International Film Festival at the Kentucky Theater ($5 admission).

September 18: Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) Set in Rio de Janeiro amidst the excitement of Carnival, Black Orpheus is Marcel Camus' 1959 gorgeous Technicolor take on the classical Greek Orpheus/Eurydice myth. Based on the play Orfeu da Conceicao by Vinicius de Moraes, the film includes a soundtrack that would introduce the incredible Samba/Bossa Nova compositons of Luiz Bonfa and Antonio Carlos Jobim to an international audience. Part of the Rosa Goddard International Film Festival at the Kentucky Theater ($5 admission).

September 21: Thriller Auditions for Michael and Ola Roles (Sat. Sept 21st, 4pm @ Mecca) [Requirement for extra credit: picture of you auditioning. Also extra credit opportunity if you participate in the downtown Thriller dress up and dance -- picture required of you participating.]

September 25: Orphée Jean Cocteau's 1950 magical cinematic excursion, Orphée, casts the mythic figure afloat in dream-like cinematography and musings on the darker obsessive side of creativity. Starring Cocteau's partner Jean Marais and set in Paris' post-WWII Left Bank, the film includes a stunning array of brilliant, albeit simple, special effects and amazing camera trickery. Part of the Rosa Goddard International Film Festival at the Kentucky Theater ($5 admission).

David Graeber: On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs

On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs
by David Graeber

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.

Why did Keynes’ promised utopia – still being eagerly awaited in the ‘60s – never materialise? The standard line today is that he didn’t figure in the massive increase in consumerism. Given the choice between less hours and more toys and pleasures, we’ve collectively chosen the latter. This presents a nice morality tale, but even a moment’s reflection shows it can’t really be true. Yes, we have witnessed the creation of an endless variety of new jobs and industries since the ‘20s, but very few have anything to do with the production and distribution of sushi, iPhones, or fancy sneakers.

So what are these new jobs, precisely? A recent report comparing employment in the US between 1910 and 2000 gives us a clear picture (and I note, one pretty much exactly echoed in the UK). Over the course of the last century, the number of workers employed as domestic servants, in industry, and in the farm sector has collapsed dramatically. At the same time, “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers” tripled, growing “from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment.” In other words, productive jobs have, just as predicted, been largely automated away (even if you count industrial workers globally, including the toiling masses in India and China, such workers are still not nearly so large a percentage of the world population as they used to be).

But rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones.

These are what I propose to call “bullshit jobs.”

It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. And here, precisely, lies the mystery. In capitalism, this is precisely what is not supposed to happen. Sure, in the old inefficient socialist states like the Soviet Union, where employment was considered both a right and a sacred duty, the system made up as many jobs as they had to (this is why in Soviet department stores it took three clerks to sell a piece of meat). But, of course, this is the sort of very problem market competition is supposed to fix. According to economic theory, at least, the last thing a profit-seeking firm is going to do is shell out money to workers they don’t really need to employ. Still, somehow, it happens.

While corporations may engage in ruthless downsizing, the layoffs and speed-ups invariably fall on that class of people who are actually making, moving, fixing and maintaining things; through some strange alchemy no one can quite explain, the number of salaried paper-pushers ultimately seems to expand, and more and more employees find themselves, not unlike Soviet workers actually, working 40 or even 50 hour weeks on paper, but effectively working 15 hours just as Keynes predicted, since the rest of their time is spent organizing or attending motivational seminars, updating their facebook profiles or downloading TV box-sets.

The answer clearly isn’t economic: it’s moral and political. The ruling class has figured out that a happy and productive population with free time on their hands is a mortal danger (think of what started to happen when this even began to be approximated in the ‘60s). And, on the other hand, the feeling that work is a moral value in itself, and that anyone not willing to submit themselves to some kind of intense work discipline for most of their waking hours deserves nothing, is extraordinarily convenient for them.

Once, when contemplating the apparently endless growth of administrative responsibilities in British academic departments, I came up with one possible vision of hell. Hell is a collection of individuals who are spending the bulk of their time working on a task they don’t like and are not especially good at. Say they were hired because they were excellent cabinet-makers, and then discover they are expected to spend a great deal of their time frying fish. Neither does the task really need to be done – at least, there’s only a very limited number of fish that need to be fried. Yet somehow, they all become so obsessed with resentment at the thought that some of their co-workers might be spending more time making cabinets, and not doing their fair share of the fish-frying responsibilities, that before long there’s endless piles of useless badly cooked fish piling up all over the workshop and it’s all that anyone really does.

I think this is actually a pretty accurate description of the moral dynamics of our own economy.

Now, I realise any such argument is going to run into immediate objections: “who are you to say what jobs are really ‘necessary’? What’s necessary anyway? You’re an anthropology professor, what’s the ‘need’ for that?” (And indeed a lot of tabloid readers would take the existence of my job as the very definition of wasteful social expenditure.) And on one level, this is obviously true. There can be no objective measure of social value.

I would not presume to tell someone who is convinced they are making a meaningful contribution to the world that, really, they are not. But what about those people who are themselves convinced their jobs are meaningless? Not long ago I got back in touch with a school friend who I hadn’t seen since I was 12. I was amazed to discover that in the interim, he had become first a poet, then the front man in an indie rock band. I’d heard some of his songs on the radio having no idea the singer was someone I actually knew. He was obviously brilliant, innovative, and his work had unquestionably brightened and improved the lives of people all over the world. Yet, after a couple of unsuccessful albums, he’d lost his contract, and plagued with debts and a newborn daughter, ended up, as he put it, “taking the default choice of so many directionless folk: law school.” Now he’s a corporate lawyer working in a prominent New York firm. He was the first to admit that his job was utterly meaningless, contributed nothing to the world, and, in his own estimation, should not really exist.

To Read the Rest

Latin Radical: Nicaragua's Trans Oceanic canal

Nicaragua's Trans Oceanic canal
Latin Radical

Toni Solo from Nicaragua talks about some of the environmental and geopolitical issues at stake in the announcement by the Nicaraguan government of an agreement with a Hong Kong based Chinese company to go ahead with feasability studies for a massive canal project connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean coast through largely uninhabited jungle areas of Nicaragua.

To Listen to the Episode

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Democracy Now: 50 Years Later, the Untold History of the March on Washington & Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Most Famous Speech

50 Years Later, the Untold History of the March on Washington & MLK’s Most Famous Speech
Democracy Now

One week out from the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — and just days away from a major march this Saturday commemorating the event — we spend the hour looking at much of its forgotten history. More than a quarter-million people came to the nation’s capital on August 28th, 1963 to protest discrimination, joblessness and economic inequality faced by African Americans. Many now consider the march to be a key turning point in the civil rights movement. We explore the largely untold history behind the march and how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, like his own political legacy, remains widely misunderstood. "I think today, the way the speech and the march are understood is wrapped in the flag, and seen as one more example of American genius, when in fact it was a mass, multiracial, dissident act," says Gary Younge, author of "The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream." "The powers that be really did not want this [march] to happen. The march was policed like a military operation.” We also speak to historian William P. Jones, author of "The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights." "It really had a very profound effect on shifting the national conversation, even within the civil rights movement itself, toward a major focus on the connections between racial equality and economic justice,” Jones says.

To Watch the Episode

Democracy Now -- "A Sad Day For All Americans": Human Rights and Legal Organizations Slam Bradley Manning Sentence

A military judge has sentenced Army whistleblower Bradley Manning to 35 years. Below are comments from legal and human rights organizations:
Democracy Now

The Center for Constitutional Rights:

We are outraged that a whistleblower and a patriot has been sentenced on a conviction under the Espionage Act. The government has stretched this archaic and discredited law to send an unmistakable warning to potential whistleblowers and journalists willing to publish their information. We can only hope that Manning’s courage will continue to inspire others who witness state crimes to speak up.

This show trial was a frontal assault on the First Amendment, from the way the prosecution twisted Manning’s actions to blur the distinction between whistleblowing and spying to the government’s tireless efforts to obstruct media coverage of the proceedings. It is a travesty of justice that Manning, who helped bring to light the criminality of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, is being punished while the alleged perpetrators of the crimes he exposed are not even investigated. Every aspect of this case sets a dangerous precedent for future prosecutions of whistleblowers – who play an essential role in democratic government by telling us the truth about government wrongdoing – and we fear for the future of our country in the wake of this case.

We must channel our outrage and continue building political pressure for Manning’s freedom. President Obama should pardon Bradley Manning, and if he refuses, a presidential pardon must be an election issue in 2016.

Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union:

When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system. A legal system that doesn’t distinguish between leaks to the press in the public interest and treason against the nation will not only produce unjust results, but will deprive the public of critical information that is necessary for democratic accountability. This is a sad day for Bradley Manning, but it’s also a sad day for all Americans who depend on brave whistleblowers and a free press for a fully informed public debate.

Widney Brown of Amnesty International:

Bradley Manning acted on the belief that he could spark a meaningful public debate on the costs of war, and specifically on the conduct of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. His revelations included reports on battlefield detentions and previously unseen footage of journalists and other civilians being killed in US helicopter attacks, information which should always have been subject to public scrutiny.

To Read the Rest of the Comments

Liquid Sound Company: Acid Music for Acid People

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium

Democracy Now -- UK Media Crackdown: Greenwald’s Partner Detained, Guardian Forced to Destroy Snowden Files

UK Media Crackdown: Greenwald’s Partner Detained, Guardian Forced to Destroy Snowden Files
Democracy Now

The Obama administration has acknowledged it had advance notice British officials were going to detain David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has revealed the National Security Agency’s massive spy practices. Miranda was held Sunday at London’s Heathrow Airport under Section 7 of the British Terrorism Act for nine hours — the maximum time he could be detained without charge. Miranda has just announced legal action against the British Home Office for his detention. Meanwhile, The Guardian has revealed the British government threatened legal action against the newspaper unless it either destroyed Snowden’s classified documents or handed them to British authorities. "At its core, what is at stake is the ability for a human being to have dignity and for journalists to have integrity with their sources, [threatening] the whole concept of a free democracy," says computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, who has been detained and questioned numerous times at airports. "And I don’t mean that as hyperbole, but if everything is under surveillance, how is that you can have a democracy? How is it that you can organize a political function, or have confidentiality with a constituent, or a source, or with a friend or a lover? That’s an erasure of fundamental things that we have had for quite some time." We’re also joined by longtime British attorney Gareth Peirce.

To Watch the Episode

Three Reasons: Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler, 1969)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sara Vizcarrondo - The Art of 'Killing': How Much Truth Comes from the Lie that Tells the Truth?; Errol Morris and Werner Herzog on The Act of Killing

The Art of 'Killing': How Much Truth Comes from the Lie that Tells the Truth?
By Sara Vizcarrondo

Before he made his film The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer interviewed survivors of Indonesia's bloody "Transition"—the failed military coup of 1965 and the brutal anti-Communist purges that followed—for an exposé on their culture of fear. Police shut down each meeting.

With fear of reprisals, Oppenheimer asked the survivors if they should stop filming. The survivors opposed unanimously, but volunteered a solution: Film the killers, and the police won't stop you. "Begin with my next-door neighbor, the man who killed my aunt," one survivor suggested. "He will appear to be proud. Film that and the audience will see why we are afraid."

After the failed coup, the Indonesian Army began a campaign of political apartheid. They paid street thugs and gangsters to rid the country of the National Communist Party (PKI), whom they blamed for the coup. There were no official trials to prove political affiliations, just semi-private assassinations.

The men who carried out the killings have been glorified in national media as heroes. Even today, they appear on talk shows, have political influence, and boast loudly about their murders to anyone who'll hear—including the families of the nameless victims they left on riverbanks and in ditches five decades ago. The most commonly cited death toll is 500,000, but accurate numbers are hard to tally. It's impossible to say the campaign has ended, since the political class that sanctioned it did so to gain power. And both power and its attainment are limitless things. Corruption persists in Indonesia.

In February 2004, Oppenheimer filmed two killers who took him to a river. During the Transition, these two men would drive a busload of internees from the military concentration camp to a riverbank every night, behead the passengers and throw the bodies in the water. "After they showed us how they'd done it, one of them took a small camera out of his pocket and asked my sound man, ‘Would you mind taking a picture of us to remember this day?' and the two posed, giving the thumbs up and "V" for victory. I went home with that material thinking, I have to make a film that adequately attempts to understand this."

Errol Morris, an executive producer on The Act of Killing, made his 2008 documentary Standard Operating Procedure in response to the photos depicting the torture and humiliation of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. He viewed those images with an exposé quality. "Standard Operating Procedure evidences a moment in which people want to remember themselves while torturing someone," says Oppenheimer. "Errol saw the pictures as confessions of a whistleblower. The Act of Killing is an attempt to understand an entire regime that did something similar; it wasn't just one person."

Oppenheimer spoke to 41 perpetrators and took each of them to the scene of their murders to act out what they'd done. With cameras rolling, they'd lament, "Oh, I should have brought a machete, and friends to play victims." But Anwar, one of the subjects in The Act of Killing, was the only man who returned to the roof where he'd killed hundreds, and neither lamented nor wished for co-conspirators. Instead, he danced. "Unlike the other 40 perpetrators, his pain was somehow close to the surface," Oppenheimer observes. "When he goes out on the roof, he sighs; it's like there's a stone in his shoe. He says, ‘I dance to forget these horrors, and so I'm a good dancer.' And I'm wondering how this must look to him."

To Read the Rest

Lannan Podcasts: Eduardo Galeano with Marie Arana

Eduardo Galeano with Marie Arana
Lannan Podcasts

Eduardo Galeano, born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1940 is an essayist, journalist, historian, and activist, as well as one of Latin America’s most beloved literary figures. Galeano’s books include the trilogy Memory of Fire; The Book of Embraces; We Say No; Walking Words; and Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone. His newest book, Children of the Days (Los híjos de los días), is forthcoming in English in April 2013. An outspoken critic of the increasingly dehumanizing effects of globalization on modern society, Galeano has remained a passionate advocate for human rights and justice.

Galeano, who received the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom in 1999, has said, “I’m trying to create a synthesis of all different ways of expressing life and reality…I tried to find a way of recounting history so that the reader would feel that it was happening right now, just around the corner—this immediacy, this intensity, which is the beauty and the reality of history.”

In this episode he is introduced by Marie Arana and then gives a talk.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Harvard University Press Blog: Catherine MacKinnon on Lovelace

Catharine MacKinnon on Lovelace
Harvard University Press

The pornographic film Deep Throat, released in 1972, was a cultural sensation whose star, “Linda Lovelace,” was said to put a girl-next-door face on the sexual revolution. But the actual life of Linda Boreman, as depicted in the new biopic Lovelace, was one of beatings, rape, and terror. Feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon, author of such works as Toward a Feminist Theory of the State and Only Words, represented Boreman after she came forward with her story, and later, with Andrea Dworkin, pursued civil rights litigation as a means to fight pornography. We asked MacKinnon about Boreman, Lovelace, and the potential impact of the film.

To Read the Interview

The Colbert Report -- People Who Are Destroying America: Johnny Cummings

A nod to Vicco, KY! Kickass Kentuckians!

Democracy Now -- Massacre in Cairo: Egypt on Brink After Worst Violence Since 2011 Revolution

Massacre in Cairo: Egypt on Brink After Worst Violence Since 2011 Revolution
Democracy Now

At least 525 people were killed in Egypt on Wednesday when security forces cracked down on two protest camps filled with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood says the actual death toll tops 2,000, and has called new rallies for today. The Egyptian military has defended the crackdown and declared a state of emergency. We’re joined by three guests: in Cairo, Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who covered Wednesday’s violence and visited the makeshift field clinics overrun with the dead and wounded, and Lina Attalah, chief editor and co-founder of the Cairo-based news website, Mada Masr; and in Washington, D.C., we’re joined by Chris Toensing, executive director of the Middle East Research and Information Project and co-editor of the book, "The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest, and Social Change in Egypt."

To Watch the Episode

Metaphilm -- Monsters Inc., Moslems, Inc.: The Uses of Disenchantment in the film that is set after but made before Monsters University

Monsters Inc., Moslems, Inc.: The Uses of Disenchantment in the film that is set after but made before Monsters University.
by Snodgrass

We know that children’s films can be tools for introducing the unpleasant realities of the adult world. Witness Chicken Run, a claymation film from the creators of Wallace and Gromit, in which the World War Two story of the Jews’ imprisonment, forced labor, and then systematic destruction is told through a parallel tale of chickens’ forced imprisonment, mandatory egg laying, and then systematic destruction when the egg farm converts to a chicken pot-pie factory. It is all right there, right down to the propagandistic American hero, whose heroics are in fact very chicken-hawkish, much the way the reality of Nazi Germany’s defeat was thanks more to the Russians than the good ole U.S. of A. So if children’s cinema can be used to explain harsh political realities from a past that the children are currently unaware of but which still retains currency in living cultural memory, how far-fetched is it to imagine that a film could describe harsh political realities while they were happening, so as to soothe the psychic feathers of children as they are experiencing them? Especially if those children are, in fact, the necessary voters and taxpayers your system is going to need to sustain the fictional fantasy by which you run global politics.

To Read the Rest

Monday, August 12, 2013

Law and Disorder Radio: Phyllis Bennis on the Israeli/Palestinian Peace Talks; Peter Werbe: Green Scare Crackdown and Monsanto Political Prisoner Marie Mason; Harriet Fraad at the Left Forum 2013

Law and Disorder Radio

Law and Disorder Co-host and Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Heidi Boghosian Recently Published “Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power and Public Resistance.”

Israel-Palestine Peace Talks

Could the timing of the recent Israel-Palestine peace talks be related to the crisis erupting across the Middle East region? The escalating war in Syria and the massive coup in Egypt have reflected US strategic failures. Now, the U.S. led effort to re-start 22 year old peace talks with Israel and Palestine has again raised suspicion of again benefiting the side of Israel.

Interestingly, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and former deputy research director of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, Martin Indyk will be acting as the U.S. envoy in the negotiations. The stated goals of these new peace talks according to our guest Phyllis Bennis, director at the Project Institute for Policy Studies will not end the occupation, or the siege of Gaza, or the decades of dispossession and exile of Palestinian refugees but only current tension and dispute.

Guest – Phyllis Bennis, directs the New Internationalism Project at IPS. She is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. In 2001 she helped found and remains on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. She works closely with the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition, co-chairs the UN-based International Coordinating Network on Palestine, and since 2002 has played an active role in the growing global peace movement. She continues to serve as an adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues.

Green Scare Crackdown and Monsanto Political Prisoner Marie Mason

Long time activist in environmental and labor movements Marie Mason continues to serve out a harsh 22 year prison sentence based on her involvement in two attacks of property damage and arson. Marie Mason is considered an eco-terrorist and is serving the longest sentence of any convicted animal rights or environmental militant. In one of the attacks, Mason and her husband Ambrose set fire to a Michigan State University building, targeting a Monsanto funded office in charge of a genetically modified crop research program to create moth resistant crops for Africa. Marie Mason was later set up by her husband who recorded their conversation that led to her conviction. As we continue to report, since 9/11, environmental radicals have been labeled terrorists, and charged with overly long sentences. This is part of what’s known as the “Green Scare” campaigns that seek to put a chill on dissent.

Guest - Peter Alexander Werbe, American radio talk show host and a progressive political activist. His home is Detroit, where he has become a fixture spinning discs and hosting Nightcall Sunday nights on Detroit’s WRIF 101.1 FM. Peter Werbe’s tenure, having commenced in 1970 has resulted in 2 popular radio programs: Nightcall and The Peter Werbe Show. He currently hosts a Mon-Fri classic (webstream) rock show Deep Trax on WCSX. He is also a staff member of Fifth Estate magazine.

Left Forum 2013: Dr. Harriet Fraad

We hear an excerpt of a presentation from Harriet Fraad is a hypnotherapist & psychotherapist in Manhattan. She writes regularly for Truthout, Tikkun and The Journal of Psychohistory. Her blog with Richard D. Wolff, Economy and Psychology appears at and Her latest book is Bringing It All Back Home ed. Graham Cussano. Her article on Emotional and Sexual Life in a Socialist America written with Tess Fraad Wolff will appear in the book Imagine A Socialist America- (Harper Collins 2013). This panel explores what Socialism could look like in the United States.

To Listen to the Episode

Lannan Podcast: David Suzuki on the environment with a focus on climate change

David Suzuki spoke about the environment with a focus on climate change, followed by a conversation with Clayton Thomas-Müller.
Lannan Podcast

This event was part of the Lannan In Pursuit of Cultural Freedom series.

David Suzuki, is a scientist, author, broadcaster, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, established in 1990 to “work with government, business and individuals to conserve our environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work for social change that today’s situation demands.” Dr. Suzuki was born in 1936 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was interned at a Japanese relocation camp during the war years. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts and received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago. The recipient of numerous awards including the 2009 Right Livelihood Award and UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science, Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His newest book is Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet. He has written, "Each of us is quite literally air, water, soil, and sunlight, and what cleanses and renews these fundamental elements of life is the web of living things on the planet."

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Making Contact: The Mission to End Prohibition

The Mission to End Prohibition
Making Contact

Polls showing increased support for marijuana decriminalization are just one sign that there’s a cultural shift taking place.

Politicians, media pundits, even law enforcement agents are increasingly conceding that the so-called ‘war on drugs’ has been an abysmal failure.

On this edition, we hear from a former narcotics officer and a leading drug reform activist about the roots of America’s current drug policy. They tell the story of how we got to this point and suggest how we might move forward with more humane and effective laws.


Jack Cole, former New Jersey State Undercover Narcotics Officer and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Co-founder; Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance Founder and Executive Director, recorded at the Tides Momentum Leadership Conference.

To Listen to the Episode