Solitary confinement used to be a prison’s black box — a place to send the worst of the worst, or those who were a danger to themselves. Now, the punishment doesn’t necessarily have to fit the crime, and time in the psychologically brutal setting is meted out for increasingly casual infractions.
In February, Iran will hold elections that could determine the country’s future — as well as that of the rest of the world, especially that of the US.These elections are of interest because of a growing battle between reformers and hardliners, involving a tremendous number of candidates, some of whom are quite reasonable, while others are volatile.If the reformers win, Iran could experience a period of openness not seen since the Ayatolla
As the world convenes in Paris next week to try to slow climate change, the concept of the weather changing dramatically and irrevocably over the next decades still seems foreign to many Americans.
A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is defined as one that can cause indiscriminate death or injury on a large scale.
Big Sugar tells the story of an industry that has managed to fly under the radar despite its role in the American obesity epidemic and its shocking treatment of workers on plantations in the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Americas.Among those benefitting from the exploitation of cane cutters who live in slave-like conditions: Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio.
An interesting fellow, taking a stand. . .
Radio host Jack Blood, true to his surname, takes no prisoners. In this lively podcast conversation, first aired in August, Blood queries WhoWhatWhy Editor in Chief Russ Baker on a variety of topics, all still very timely. Themes include Donald Trump; what’s wrong with the candidates and the coverage; problems with modern conversation; the importance of thinking and reading outside the box; the narrow mindset of elites; Jeb Bush’s early, assisted enrichment; the Warren Commission; and more. .
Back in the early ‘60’s Jessica Mitford wrote a shocking book — The American Way of Death — that exposed how the funeral industry took advantage of the aggrieved with expensive and unnecessary burial practices.Now we are learning that this $15 billion-a-year business is also unsustainable — and highly destructive to the environment.Consider this: the millions of gallons of toxic embalming fluid used to pretty up and “preserve” corpses eventually find their way into the ground, contaminating soil and water resources.
WhoWhatWhy Editor in Chief Russ Baker chats with Pat Thurston, talk show host on the megastation KGO, about what is — and is not — in the new movie, “Truth.”The film, which features Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, explores the events in 2004 when CBS News reported on George W. Bush’s failure to complete required military service during Vietnam.
Want to meet a government official who tells the truth — in spades? Then you will definitely want to set aside time to hear of the stunning findings of the top US investigator for spending in Afghanistan.The biggest problem is not theft, but waste, he says. For example, the $500 million spent on airplanes that no one could fly, and that ultimately had to be scrapped, a process that cost yet more thousands of dollars. Or the gift of soybeans, which the Afghans will not eat and will not grow.
In this podcast from the fall of 2014, Russ Baker talks to radio host Jim Paris. Most of the conversation is about the Bush family (including the family’s early years and its plans for the very long term), an endless source of surprises, and Jeb’s campaign, Skull and Bones and the role such elite groups play, but also about:• the oddly close relationship between the Bushes and Clintons • the Bushes and the Saudis • oddities and anomalies about the deaths of JFK and Bin Laden
Back in January of 1999, in the infancy of the internet, the founder and former head of Sun Microsystems, Scott McNealy, said, “There is no privacy, get over it.” And that was before Facebook, Uber, and “location-based” retail.For a few internet-savvy users, the fear of someone invading their personal space, is a threat requiring ongoing vigilance.
The Devil’s Chessboard, a new book on the CIA’s most powerful director, Allen Dulles, will be out next week. In this podcast, WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman interviews author David Talbot about his many new discoveries.
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, or DARPA, was created by Eisenhower in the late 1950s from the same military industrial complex that produced thermonuclear weapons. Its purpose was to devise science fiction-inspired high-tech weaponry for the American military. DARPA’s key mission, ironically, was to design systems to protect Americans from enemies having the very weapons it had created.DARPA was also Frankenstein-like.
If the Defense Department, the CIA, and our largest corporations can be hacked, certainly 50 states and over 3,000 separate county systems are no match for individuals or nation states that might want to influence the outcome of elections. This is particularly true because nowadays things in the world of electronics and elections are as complex as ever.
Have you ever heard of the prison-industrial complex? Did you know that jailing people is big business — and that it is one of America’s most rapidly growing profit centers? Or that prison guards make around $100,000 a year for a job that requires only a high school diploma and, in some places, a taste for sadism?There’s no shortage of people to feed into this system.
Nell Bernstein, author of Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, has spent years up close and personal in the system. She tells her story to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman.
“This science tells us that who you are at 14 is not who you’re going to be at 40.
Russ Baker and radio host Gary Null discuss the tragedy of Katrina, “disaster capitalism”, the Bush Administration’s hollowing out of government services, and more. What you didn’t hear … anywhere else during all the 10th anniversary hand-wringing. .
This week, WhoWhatWhy marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with Russ Baker’s exposé of the real story behind the federal government’s epically botched response to the superstorm’s devastation of New Orleans.Baker explains to Jeff Schechtman in this podcast that It wasn’t just rank incompetence involving another hapless set of Bush cronies. Rather, it represented something more fundamental: corruption within the Bush administration so pervasive that it amounted to depraved indifference toward the people who suffered and died in Katrina’s aftermath.
Google, it is said, has changed everything. Could it now be about to change elections — and therefore democracy? It could, says an expert interviewed by RadioWhoWhatWhy podcaster Jeff Schechtman.The culprit is Google Search.
If you did a Google search for stories about the 2008–2009 financial crisis, you’d find that the vast majority focus on public and government debt—and government spending. This has been, for almost 40 years, the mantra of many in Washington.And yet we know, that our most recent financial crisis, was at least, i
Written and produced by Adam Curtis, The Power of Nightmares—The Rise of the Politics of Fear explores the similarities between the ascent of the American Neo-Conservative movement and the trajectory of radical, fundamentalist Islamism in three one-hour films.More controversial, perhaps, than even this co