podcast

Who Should Censor Online Speech?

Reading Time: 18 minutesThere are few First Amendment issues more pressing today than how online speech should be governed. It impacts our interpersonal relationships, our views of almost every aspect of society, and of course our politics.

Facing Human Extinction, Activist Wants to ‘Go Down Swinging’

Reading Time: 18 minutesAs Democratic leaders offer their “Green New Deal” modeled on FDR’s “New Deal,” veteran environmental leader Randy Hayes has drafted the “New Green Deal,” a to address what he calls “a deep planetary emergency.”

ClandesTime 183 – Fields of Fire

Fields of Fire is one of the greatest movies that was never made. A brutal but sympathetic portrait of the Vietnam War, it was denied military support despite being written by a former Secretary of the Navy. This week I examine the story of Fields of Fire using a file from the DOD’s entertainment liaison office.

Why Trade Matters

Reading Time: 24 minutesThe US is in a full-blown “trade war” with China. The possibility of tariffs on goods from Mexico, combined with other trade actions by the Trump administration, could send the entire US economy off the rails. The Federal Reserve is already looking at ways to prevent this disaster in the making.History teaches that global trade matters.

Powerful Democrat Lives Large on Corporate Cash

Reading Time: 16 minutesAs the new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) is being showered with campaign contributions — more than a half million dollars in the first quarter of 2019.Journalist David Daley, who lives in Neal’s district, reviewed the fundraising and spending reports in a recent column in the Boston Globe (see link below).

ClandesTime 182 – Clear and Present Danger

1994’s Clear and Present Danger is one of the most important movies in the cinema of the war on drugs, depicting black operations by the CIA and US military against a Colombian drug cartel.

ClandesTime 181 – The Cinema of Iran-Contra

Iran-Contra is in many ways the definitive government conspiracy – involving guns, drugs, anti-communism and black operations, it went all the way to the White House.

The Solution to Democracy Is Less Democracy, Author Says

Reading Time: 16 minutesWe keep trying to reform our political system to make it more “democratic.” Grassroots organizations across the world are pushing reforms, trying to bring politics closer to the people. Parties have turned to primaries and local caucuses to select candidates.

ClandesTime 180 – The Politics of Monster Movies

Monster movies are one of the most beloved and distinctive genres in cinema, featuring a winning combination of exotic spectacle, ground-breaking visual effects and reflections on humanity’s relationship with nature.

Trying to Understand Trump’s Finances Is Taxing

Reading Time: 19 minutesOver the past two years, Americans have been subjected to a crash course in government and its discontents: from separation of powers and obstruction of justice to the fine points of collusion vs. conspiracy.

It’s All About the Benjamins: The Trouble With Philanthropy Today

Reading Time: 15 minutesIt seems that every time we experience a “gilded age,” the rich, perhaps worried that the pitchforks will soon be at the gates, increase their giving.According to David Callahan, our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast and the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy, political polarization has divided the world of large-scale giving as never before.Each side looks askance at the

ClandesTime 179 – The Philosophy and Politics of Superman

Superman is one of the world’s most recognisable cultural icons. A symbol of human idealism, he has been subject to a range of political and philosophical agendas over the last 80 years.

Green Shoots in the Future of Voting

Reading Time: 18 minutesGiven the ongoing standoff between Congress and the White House, it’s becoming clearer each day that the “tiebreaker” will be the 2020 election.So it’s encouraging to learn that the prospects for voting reform are not as bleak as some stories might lead us to believe.

What’s It Like to Work at Walmart?

French Canadian journalist Hugo Meunier specializes in “immersion reporting.” He spent three months working at a Walmart store and offers an insider’s account of the plight of low-paid worker bees who stock the shelves and endure abuse from bargain-hunting shoppers.In this WhoWhatWhy podcast interview, Meunier explains the training and indoctrination he received, as well as the company’s attempts to motivate workers with daily reports on store sales and repeated dangling of a $2,000 annual performance bonus.

ClandesTime 178 – Black Panther vs Django Unchained

Black Panther and Django Unchained are perhaps the two most successful movies featuring black actors in lead roles that Hollywood has ever made. But are they as radical as they seem?

Democracies Are Not Forever… Is the US Headed Down the Same Path As Rome?

Every day, no matter what the issue — whether it’s election integrity, rule of law, climate change, guns, impeachment, or the Mueller report — what’s at stake is not just daily political wins and losses, but the very survival of the republic.As was the case at its founding, during the Civil War, and at a select few times in US history, Americans would be making a huge mistake if they took the survival of the nation for granted.

The Mueller Report: Further Proof That a Savior Isn’t Coming

According to Sarah Kendzior, the Mueller Report doesn&;t even scratch the surface of what’s been happening.In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Kendzior, the no-holds-barred commentator, calls special counsel Robert Mueller incompetent.

After Legalization of Gangs, Ecuador’s Murder Rate Dropped 400%

Gang violence is one of the main drivers of the exodus from Central America. In response to the exodus, President Donald Trump wants to cut US aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras — a move that critics say will only exacerbate the situation. Trump has also talked about using tough police tactics and mass deportation to eliminate the Latin street gang MS-13 — a group that actually originated in Los Angeles.

The Life, Captivity, and Trial of Bowe Bergdahl: A Symbol of America’s Failure in Afghanistan?

Journalist Michael Ames joins Jeff Schechtman in this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast to talk about the high-profile military crimes of Bowe Bergdahl — and what they say about both Bergdahl and the failure of US efforts in Afghanistan.Bergdahl, the longest-held American POW since Vietnam, endured five years of hellish conditions.

ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney

Vice has won awards along with praise from audiences and critics alike, but how well does it inform its audience about Dick Cheney? This week I take a look at the important material that Vice overlooked, or didn’t know about.

Could Everything You Know About Global Population Growth Be Wrong?

Since the 1960s we’ve come to understand that an expanding global population threatens our quality of life — and, potentially, all life itself. Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book, The Population Bomb, set the stage for 50 years of doom-laden assumptions about population growth.

Appeals Court Upholds Order Blocking Keystone XL Work

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline is not dead yet. On March 15 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court injunction that blocks construction of the proposed pipeline. This important decision, which has received little media coverage, is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

ClandesTime 174 – The Big Short vs Margin Call

The 2008 Wall Street crash has inspired little more than a staccato response from Hollywood, with very few films taking the subject seriously. In this episode I examine and review two of the more prominent movies that cover this topic – The Big Short and Margin Call.

How Public-Private Partnerships Are Killing Us

The FAA’s decision allowing Boeing to do its own safety assessments — while the company president told President Trump that all was fine with the 737 Max — raises serious questions about the effectiveness of regulatory agencies charged with protecting our health and safety. In another critical public health area, the government has virtually partnered with the pharmaceutical industry to deal with the opioid crisis. It’s a lot like asking the arsonist to help put out the fire he started.

ClandesTime 173 – Public Enemies

Public Enemies is a 2009 historical drama/thriller film that tells the story of the Bureau of Investigation’s manhunt for Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger. In this episode I examine the film, the politics of crime and the romanticising of criminals.

An Explanation of America to Americans

Victor Wallis is a professor of Liberal Arts at the Berklee College of Music and was for 20 years the managing editor of Socialism and Democracy. Several months ago he joined us to talk about the radical intervention he saw as necessary to deal with the threat from climate change.

ClandesTime 172 – An Alternative History of Al Qaeda: Charlie Wilson’s War

George Crile’s book Charlie Wilson’s War is the most in-depth account of the CIA’s support to the Afghan mujahideen, based on countless interviews with inside sources.

Why Climate Change Is Not Just an Environmental Issue

Some have decried the Green New Deal because it touches on numerous areas outside of climate change, including universal health care, a universal basic income, job guarantees and worker rights. The assumption has been that climate change exists in some kind of a vacuum. Mike Berners-Lee, an English researcher, writer on greenhouse gases, professor at Lancaster University, and our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, argues that the critics have it all wrong — because everything is connected.

ClandesTime 171 – The Last Ship

The Last Ship is one of the most popular cable TV shows of recent years, as well as one of the most successful pieces of militainment. In this episode I examine the politics of the show, in particular how it depicts a conflict between the US and China.

Socialism vs. Capitalism… We’re Having the Wrong Debate

A headline in the Economist shouted recently that “socialism is storming back.” Certainly, with the wealth gap, declining social mobility, and climate change, it’s easy to see why some are losing faith in a capitalist society.But should the debate really be about capitalism vs. socialism — or is it a question of too much of a good thing that needs rebalancing? After all, we once couldn’t get enough of the cars, antibiotics, and entertainment technology that capitalism produced in abundance.

What’s the Cost of Turning History and Racial Politics into Entertainment?

Spoiler Alert! This podcast features a detailed discussion of the story portrayed in the film Green Book. If you haven’t seen it yet, and plan to, please save this podcast for later.The movie Green Book has earned accolades and attacks since it was released in December. The controversies are sure to be rekindled by the 91st Academy Awards Sunday, Feb.