Friday, May 22, 2015

Too Many People?

Alan Weisman talks with Francesca Rheannon about the population crisis and how we can solve it. The Earth’s population is expected to be somewhere around 11 billion people by the end of this century. Alan says overpopulation already underlies much of the conflict we see in the world today, including Israel/Palestine and Pakistan. Also the population crisis means we’re going to have to produce more food in the next 50 years than has been consumed in all of human history.

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"He makes a strong case for slowing global population growth - and even for reducing overall population numbers - as a prerequisite for achieving a sustainable future...Weisman's book...offers hope... Weisman's emphasis on expanding access to contraception as the next-best strategy is both pragmatic and workable, as past efforts have shown. It is to be hoped that his message may be heeded sooner rather than later." ~ Nature magazine
Podcast source: writer's voice: Alan Weisman, Countdown

Abby Frazier

A New Climate

In just a few decades the coldest day you experience in January will be hotter than the warmest days your parents had in January and the hottest day you get in July (in the Northern hemisphere) will simply be hotter than any day anyone has ever felt in your city to date.

Scientists at the University of Hawaii have figured out a way to pinpoint when weather extremes at a given location will move outside the range of anything we’ve known in modern times. Geographer Abby Frazier tells Steve Curwood it’s going to be sooner then we might think.

Check out an interactive map of the climate departure dates around the world. Read the paper on climate departure here. Abby Frazier’s website is here.
Podcast source: living on earth: Climate Departure Date

Download or Play Too Many People Part 1
Download or Play Too Many People Part 2
Download or Play Too Many People Part 3
Download or Play A New Climate

Music includes Matrix movie - Choice, Capitol Steps - Ebony and Ovaries, David Rovics - Terror In The Skies, Capitol Steps - Guantanamo Driver, Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World, JFK 6-10-1963, Woody Guthrie - Jesus Christ, Playing for Change - A Music Revolution, Bette Midler - From a Distance, Matrix movie - A Slave, Dave Puls - We Won't Be Here Forever, Wizard Of Oz movie - If I Only Had A Heart, Pink Floyd - End The Blockade Of Gaza, Jimi Hendrix - Red House, Hair - Where Do I Go, The Bobs - You Really Got a Hold on Me, Modern Gustin Trio - Yellow Submarine

Friday, May 15, 2015

Should the U.S. Oppose Immigration? A Debate

Protestors call for President Obama to push immigration reform, outside the White House in Washington, DC, July 24, 2013. Tomas Martinez/Associated Press

The U.S. was built on the hard work of its immigrants. The vast majority of Americans are descendants of immigrants.

The U.S. is home to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior. Illegal immigration to the United States is the act by foreign nationals violating United States immigration laws by either entering the country without government permission or once lawfully entering, remaining within the country beyond the termination date of a temporary visa.

Deported migrants climb a fence at the U.S.- Mexico border as they prepare for the 6th annual Marcha Migrante, or Migrant March in Tijuana, a pilgrimage is organized to raise awareness on immigration issues. (AP)

According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, in 2012, 52% of illegal immigrants were from Mexico; 26% were from other Latin American countries, primarily from Central America; 12% were from Asia; 5% were from Europe and Canada; and 3% were from Africa and the rest of the world. Do immigrants take American jobs or does immigration help the economy or both?

Against immigration is Kris Kobach, Secretary of State for Kansas and Tom Tancredo, former Congressman for Colorado. For immigration is Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio and Tamar Jacoby, President and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA.
Source: intelligence2: Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses

Zak visiting his father on Rikers Island in 1991. Photo courtesy of Zak Ebrahim

How Did The Son Of A Terrorist Choose Peace?

Zak Ebrahim is the son of El-Sayyid Nosair. El-Sayyid Nosair is an Egyptian-born American citizen, convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Nosair was also tried for, but acquitted of, the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane a Jewish religious figure and right-wing Israeli politician on November 5, 1990. Nosair was convicted of assault and possession of an illegal firearm. Zak tells us that he was raised to hate and but rejected that path.

After his father's incarceration, Ebrahim's family moved over 20 times, haunted by and persecuted for his father's crimes. The older Zak got, the more he grasped the horror of his father's acts. The more he understood, the more he resolved to dedicate his life to promoting peace. This part is narrated by Guy Raz.
Source: TED Radio Hour: How Did The Son Of A Terrorist Choose Peace?

Download or Play Immigration Debate Part 1
Download or Play Immigration Debate Part 2
Download or Play Immigration Debate Part 3
Download or Play Son Of A Terrorist

Music includes Lenard Cohen - Everybody Knows, David Rovics - Here At The End Of The World, Ariel - A War President Song, Capitol Steps - Bill Clinton Sings 16 Times, David Rovics - I Wanna Go Home, Capitol Steps - Rick Perry is a Bush Clone, Weird Al Yankovic - Christmas At Ground Zero, Capitol Steps - Help Rwanda, David Rovics - The Face Of Victory, Bunny Sigler - Climate Change, Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Winter In America, Jim Page - When Johnny Comes Marching Home, The Bergerfolk - Masters of War, Randy Newman - It's A Jungle Out There, Poncho Sanchez - Ican

Friday, May 8, 2015

Living In A Police State

Overcrowding in a California prison. Courtesy Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP

Paul Butler was an ambitious federal prosecutor, a Harvard Law grad who gave up his corporate law salary to fight the good fight, until one day he was arrested on the street and charged with a crime he didn’t commit. Paul talked about how ordinary citizens interact with the justice system, and examined the system’s overall strengths and weaknesses.

Paul's analysis is grounded in the radical notion that the government should respect people's right to be secure in their persons and property, a right formerly enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Even more fundamentally, he argues that we should re-embrace freedom in this country in ways that range from not incarcerating nonviolent offenders to decriminalizing drugs. Our prisons have made our lives more dangerous by serving to indoctrinate nonviolent offenders in the ways of violent crime. Not only are we squandering lives that might otherwise be productive, but we are also creating a contempt for law not seen since Prohibition and extending police power in a manner not consistent with a free society. Paul is interviewed by Peter Slen of C-Span.
Source: C-Span: Ordinary Citizens and the Justice System

Eliminating the racial disparities inherent to our nation’s criminal-justice policies and practices must be at the heart of a renewed, refocused, and reenergized movement for racial justice in America.
SOURCE: AP/ California Department of Corrections

Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. Locals in the industry say workers can earn $50 to $60 a day. Thousands of people in Nigeria engage in a practice known locally as 'oil bunkering' - hacking into pipelines to steal crude then refining it or selling it abroad. The practice, which leaves oil spewing from pipelines for miles around, managed to lift around a fifth of Nigeria's two million barrel a day production last year according to the finance ministry. Picture taken November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

How To Steal A Million Barrels Of Oil

In Nigeria, it is normal for millions of gallons of oil to be stolen. The thieves sell their giant tankers full of oil on the Nigerian version of Craigslist. Reported by Julia Simon and Robert Smith.
Source: planet money: Episode 578: How To Steal A Million Barrels Of Oil

Download or Play Police State Part 1
Download or Play Police State Part 2
Download or Play Police State Part 3
Download or Play Stealing Oil

Music includes Gil Scott-Heron - Did You Hear What They Said, Rise Against - Hero Of War, The Gladiators - Streets of Freedom, Capitol Steps - 401K, Geoff Scott - Change the story, Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Capitol Steps - On The Metro, Symphony of Science - Our Biggest Challenge, Red Shadow - Gone Gone Gone, John Cremona - I Know A Place, Terry Gangstad - Chest hair Club, Dave Puls - We Won't Be Here Forever, Roy Zimmerman - Vote Republican 2.0, David Rovics - Beyond The Mall, Judy Collins - Both Sides Now, Jeff Foxworthy - Protect the House, Odetta - No Expectations, Usa For Africa - We Are The World, Anti-Flag - Turncoat, Blur - Out Of Time, Morales / Noro Orchestra - Mambo Coco

Friday, May 1, 2015

Has The Two-Party System Made The U.S. Undemocratic?

Opponents of the two-party system argue that Americans are locked into evaluating every issue through a prism of left and right. They say the country needs to break out of a system that has led to stagnation and a difficulty in finding common ground.

Others counter that, while the two-party system has its faults, it arose organically and has a long history of getting things done in the United States. Supporters say that the system is broad-based and does allow room for independents and third-party candidates.

For the motion is David Brooks and Arianna Huffington. Against the motion is Zev Chafets and P.J. O'Rourke.
Source: intelligence2: Is The Two-Party System Making U.S. Ungovernable?

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." ~ John Adams, 2nd President, Letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1780), "The Works of John Adams", vol 9, p.511.

A Utopian Libertarian Marketplace

The story of Ross Ulbricht aka the Dread Pirate Roberts is about the Internet age. This guy set up a utopian libertarian marketplace, a place where you could buy and sell almost anything in secret. The pirate created a market with no contracts, no regulations, and really no government interference. The Dread Pirate believed in total economic freedom, but he had to do some very bad things to make it work. Contains language and adult themes that may not be appropriate for children.
Source: planet money: Chasing The Dread Pirate Roberts

Download or Play Two-Party System Part 1
Download or Play Two-Party System Part 2
Download or Play Two-Party System Part 3
Download or Play Utopian Libertarian Marketplace

Music includes Youngbloods - Get Together, Capitol Steps - Bush Defines His Legacy, David Rovics - The War Is Over, Capitol Steps - Osama Under the Sea, Dave Carter / Tracy Grammer - Gentle Arms of Eden, Capitol Steps - Hillary Will Survive, Machel Montano - No War, Capitol Steps - Obama Speaks: BP Oil Spill, Peacesong - Sudden Sound, Ryan Harvey - The Betrayed Soldier, Jim Page - Head Full of Pictures, Pete Seeger - Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, Paul Revere / The Raiders - Indian Reservation Cherokee People, Stevie Wonder - Love's In Need Of Love Today, Ken Freeman - Casualty

Friday, April 24, 2015

Inside The Police State

Police officer Adrian Schoolcraft secretly recorded his supervisors telling officers to manipulate crime statistics and make illegal arrests from 2008 to 2009. The Village Voice series that broke Schoolcraft's story was written by Graham Rayman. Ira Glass narrates the story.

Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft claims the NYPD cast him as a lunatic because he blew the whistle on supervisors who fudged crime stats and badgered victims trying to report felonies.
"Police Officer Schoolcraft, who worked in the relatively high-crime 81st precinct in Brooklyn, was not a happy camper. Some might call him a malcontent.

In 2009, he began to secretly tape-record precinct roll calls at which commanding officers ordered cops like himself to refuse to take robbery victims’ crime complaints. Cops were also ordered to downgrade felonies — which are serious crimes — to less serious misdemeanors so that the precinct would appear safer than it actually was.

Schoolcraft’s secret tape recordings might well have been ignored, had not the police department then done something shocking.

On Oct. 31, 2009, Schoolcraft left his tour early, saying he felt sick, and returned to his apartment in Queens. A few hours later, a police posse, led by Brooklyn Deputy Chief Michael Marino, entered his apartment and, saying he needed medical help, forcibly brought him to Jamaica Hospital.

Despite his protests, the hospital admitted him and held him for six days. For part of that time, he was kept in its psychiatric ward. ... After six days, Schoolcraft was released from the hospital. He and his father then left the city for upstate Johnstown, where Larry Schoolcraft had grown up.

Meanwhile, Larry Schoolcraft alerted the media to what the department had done to his son.

The Schoolcrafts then hired an attorney, who sued the NYPD in federal court for $50 million, claiming that Adrian’s forced hospitalization was retaliation for his having blown the whistle on his precinct commanders.

Amidst the media’s hue and cry, the department was forced to address Schoolcraft’s allegations about the 81st precinct.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced an internal investigation, which determined that Schoolcraft’s precinct commanders had indeed downgraded crimes. The precinct’s top commanders were all transferred and disciplined. ... This was not merely a crime-reporting problem. Misclassifying crimes has consequences. In Upper Manhattan, as Rayman reported for the Village Voice and notes in his book, police downgraded an attempted rape to “criminal trespassing,” a misdemeanor." ~ Leonard Levitt

For more information read "The NYPD Tapes: Inside Bed-Stuy's 81st Precinct" by Granham Rayman in The Village Voice.
Source: This American Life: 414: Right to Remain Silent

NSA Threatens National Security

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist. Bruce discusses how the NSA threatens national security by breaking the “trust of the internet” and how to push back against the NSA using technical and legal means. Bruce is interviewed by Scott Horton.
Source: The Scott Horton Show: Bruce Schneier

Download or Play Inside The Police State Part 1
Download or Play Inside The Police State Part 2
Download or Play Inside The Police State Part 3
Download or Play NSA Threatens National Security

Music includes Gil Scott-Heron - Did You Hear What They Said?, Capitol Steps - Who'll Drop a Bomb in Ramadan?, David Rovics - Occupy Wall Street, Capitol Steps - California Gay Men, Lost At Last - Shalom Asalaam, Phil Ochs - I Ain't Marching Anymore, Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World, The Bergerfolk - Masters of War, The dB's - Revolution of the Mind, The Beatles - The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, The Levins - World of Peace, Odetta - Long Time Gone, Joan Baez - Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Marius Constant / Bernard Herrmann - The Twilight Zone

Friday, April 17, 2015

Should The U.N. Admit Palestine As A Full Member State?

Israeli military officials say 20 Palestinians were evicted early on Saturday after the
activists tried to set up a cluster of tents near the village of Al-Tiwaneh,
south of the city of al-Khalil (Hebron), 2013.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine has a long history. On November 29, 2012, the General Assembly adopted resolution 67/19 entitled “Status of Palestine in the United Nations” with 138 votes in favor, 9 against and 41 abstentions. The resolution accorded to Palestine non-Member observer State status in the United Nations, marking the first time that the General Assembly considered Palestine to be a State.

After 20 years of failed talks with Israel, can the international community be the only path left to a two-state solution, or have the Palestinians set the peace process back by bypassing negotiations?

For admitting Palestine: Mustafa Barghouthi, former Palestinian National Authority Presidential Candidate and Daniel Levy, former Israeli Government Negotiator & Senior Fellow, New America Foundation

Against admitting Palestine: Dore Gold, former Israeli U.N. Ambassador & Advisor to PM Netanyahu and Aaron David Miller, former U.S. Mideast Negotiator, Advised Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State
Source: intelligence2: The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member State

Fighting The Tar Sands Pipeline

Earyn Wheatley (@earyn604) has been involved in the resistance to Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline at #BurnabyMountain. Burnaby Mountain is about 11 miles east of Vancouver, Canada. Earyn talks about the events, indigenous resistance and the many reasons people oppose the project. Earyn was interviewed by Dan Kellar.
Source: Fighting The Tar Sands Pipeline Through Burnaby Mountain

Download or Play Palestine Part 1
Download or Palestine Play Part 2
Download or Play Palestine Part 3
Download or Play Tar Sand Pipeline

Music includes Chumbawamba - Jacobs Ladder, Ryan Harvey - 50 Billion More, David Rovics - The War Is Over, Ry Cooder - No Banker Left Behind, Mike Brill - Give Ireland Back To The Irish, David Rovics - Waiting For The Fall, Roy Zimmerman - Vote Republican 2.0, Neil Young - Lets Impeach The President, The Temptations - Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today), Fabian - Let The Children Sing, Tom Lehrer - Who's Next, Groovy Judy - Peace And Love, The Bobs - Helmet, The Beatles - All You Need Is Love, Cal Tjader - Mambo Macumba, Coleman Hawkins - Stuffy

Friday, April 10, 2015

Who Scares Us And Why

Almost all Americans fall victim to the hype, intensity, and propaganda, that accompanies political panics. Mark Stein examines American political panics over witches, Indians, Masons, Chinese, Socialists, Latinos, Muslims, gay marriage and more. Mark closely examines just what it is that causes us as a country to overreact in the face of widespread and potentially profound changes.

Mark also wrote the screenplay for the film, Housesitter, starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, and Movies-of-the-Week for CBS and NBC, starring Katey Sagal, John Ritter, Teri Garr, and Robert Urich. Mark Stein's plays have been produced off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, and at numerous regional theatres including South Coast Repertory, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, L.A.'s Fountain Theatre and the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, CA. Mark lives in Washington, D.C., where he has taught at Catholic University and American University.
Source: C-Span: Book Discussion on American Panic

Ronald Wright
Surviving Progress

Ronald Wright joins Piya Chattopadhyay to discuss what can be done to respond to the pressures of progress.

"Progress can do us in, or so argues British historian Wright as he embarks on a lively if meandering journey through the development and demise of ancient civilizations to determine whether our current one is doomed. By reading the "black boxes" left by departed societies (like those of the Easter Islanders, the Sumerians and the Mayans), we can learn to avoid the mistakes that led to their downfall, he suggests. Many of those errors revolve around the plundering of natural resources and the development of social hierarchies that allow elite groups to indulge in over-consumption at the expense of the masses. 

Other errors involve "progress traps," technologies or advances that, like weapons, are initially useful but become dangerous to civilization once fully developed, especially if moral and technical progress diverge. The analogy of civilization as a kind a "pyramid scheme," which, like the sales scheme, thrives only if it grows, is one of several imaginative mnemonic devices Wright uses to round out his argument. 

Today's culprit, he declares, is "market extremism," which has "cross-bred with evangelical messianism to fight intelligent policy on metaphysical grounds." This laissez-faire capitalism, he reasons, will spell the end of the planet, and our civilization, if it is not controlled. 

Wright crafts an entertaining tale of eras gone by, incorporating relevant facts on subjects as diverse as the lifestyles of early hominids and recent patterns of climate change, and demonstrating the holistic importance of natural resources to a society. And if he never specifies exactly what the proper choices for modern civilization are, or how they will bring deliverance from the coming storm, his book will nonetheless convince readers that we are at a crossroads where the right choices can still be made." ~ Publishers Weekly
Source: YouTube: Ronald Wright: Proving Nature Wrong

Download or Play American Panic Part 1
Download or Play American Panic Part 2
Download or Play Surviving Progress Part 1
Download or Play Surviving Progress Part 2

Music includes XTC - Melt The Guns, Metric - Succexy, Wildman - Like A Wave, Capitol Steps - It Wasn't Bill, Izzy Smart - Anti-Austerity Protest Song, Capitol Steps - But We Only Have McCain, Crosby / Stills / Nash & Young - Ohio, Terry Gangstad - National Institute of the Blonde, Steve Angrisano - Go Make a Difference, The Specials - Nelson Mandela, Donovan - Universal Soldier, Odetta - Don't Think Twice It's Alright, Gil Scott-Heron - Lady Day and John Coltrane, Hair - Good Morning Starshine, Monty Python - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, Philip Glass - Powaqqatsi, The Classical Duo - Vivaldi Guitar, Titanic Soundtrack - Nearer My God To Thee

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