Recent Posts

Republicans and science: what happened? KPFK 7/1

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In the first half of the 20th century the Republicans were the party that most strongly supported scientific work—they thought it would advance economic progress and national security.  NAOMI ORESKES looks at what happened—she’s professor of the history of science at Harvard and wrote about “The Hoax of Climate Denial” for TomDispatch.

Plus: BERNIE SANDERS is in Madison tonight, and so is our man JOHN NICHOLS. He’ll talk about Bernie and Hillary–and also Lincoln Chaffee, one of the other guys running in the Dem. Primary–he says “it’s time to bring Edward Snowden home.”

Also: poverty in the former capital of the Confederacy: SASHA ABRAMSKY of The Nation reports from Richmond, Virginia, where the city’s leaders have begun reaching out to the poor and working-class people they have so long ignored.


After Charleston: What South Carolina really needs: KPFK 6/24

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After Charleston: Taking down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina state capitol is a good idea, but a symbolic one – to move towards equality the state needs voting rights, health care, and education. JUAN COLE explains – his blog is Informed Comment.
Meanwhile Muslims too have been targeted. MARGARET TALBOT reports on one hate crime: the murder of three young Muslim college students in February in Chapel Hill.  Police said the murders were motivated by “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking.”  Margaret is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

Also: LA will begin police sweeps of homeless encampments under a new law passed by the city council yesterday: HEATHER JOHNSON of the ACLU of Southern California will explain what’s wrong with that approach to ending homelessness.

Life and Death in the Red States: KPFK 6/17

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Life and Death in the Red States:
KAI WRIGHT reports from Kansas on the human toll of Republican refusal to expand Medicaid for millions of sick Americans. Kai is Features Editor of The Nation magazine and reported from Brownback’s Kansas.

Plus: The history of The Nation – the magazine, America’s oldest weekly, now celebrating its 150th anniversary.  Susan Sontag in 1982 said a person who read only the Reader’s Digest would have been “better informed about the realities of communism” than someone who read only The Nation.  Was she right?  D. D. GUTTENPLAN explains. His new book is The Nation: A Biography.

Also: Vladimir Nabokov and American politics. The author of Lolita spent 20 years in the US in the forties and fifties, and drove through the West every summer. ROBERT ROPER analyzes Nabokov’s strange political profile: refugee from both Stalin and Hitler, enemy of racism and defender of free speech—but also a supporter of the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon.
Roper’s new book is Nabokov in America: On the Road to Lolita.

LA Labor’s Really Bad Idea: KPFK 6/10

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Today the LA City Council voted for a new city minimum wage of $15 an hour. But organized labor had asked for an exception for union workers, who could be paid less. What was behind this terrible proposal? HAROLD MEYERSON will comment; he writes for the Washington Post, the American Prospect, and the LA Times op-ed page.

Also: Banned in Abu Dhabi: ANDREW ROSS advocated rights for workers there, who are building a new Guggenheim museum and an NYU campus. He teaches at NYU, and will tell the story of how the United Arab Emirates barred him from entry.

Plus “Ready—and excited—for Hillary”: KATHA POLLITT, explains why: it’s because “Clinton is running as a feminist–and that matters for all women.”
Katha is a poet, essayist and columnist for The Nation; her most recent book is PRO: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.

Thank you, Edward Snowden: 6/3

Instead of prosecuting Edward Snowden under the Espionage Act, Congress and the president should be saying Thank you.  Without him, Congress would never have ended the NSA’s bulk phone data collection.  I
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Why Cuba Matters: Tom Hayden on KPFK 6/3

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Why Cuba Matters: TOM HAYDEN
on the end of America’s 50-year campaign against the Cuban revolution. We’ll recall the tumultuous history of Cuba in American life, from the Bay of Pigs and the Missile Crisis to the decades of the embargo. We’ll also talk about the prospects for democracy in Cuba–and the fears of capitalist restoration. Tom’s new book is Listen, Yankee! Why Cuba Matters.
Also: Only one senator voted against the Patriot Act after 9/11; yesterday, 76 Senators voted to repeal the NSA’s collection of cell phone data on all Americans, and President Obama signed the bill. Thank you EDWARD SNOWDEN, for revealing what the NSA was doing. We’ll have comment from LIZA GOITEIN—she’s co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.

My Struggle to Get the Dodgers on Time Warner Cable: LA Times 5/25

Time Warner Cable DodgersMy wife gave me Time Warner Cable as a retirement present so I could spend my golden years watching the Boys in Blue on TV. This makes me a lucky guy because 70% of Southern California doesn’t get to watch the Dodgers on TV, at least until Charter Communications fulfills its promises. But nothing about it has been easy.
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Do the Police have a Right to Withhold Video when they Kill Someone? 5/21

Do the police have a privacy right to withhold video shot by in-car cameras or body cams? Do public officials, acting in their public capacity, have a right to prevent the public from reviewing video evidence of their conduct? You’d think the answer was obviously “no.” When the police kill somebody, it’s not “private.”  . . . continued at, HERE

Chris Burden and ‘The Other Vietnam Memorial': TheNation 5/11

Los Angeles artist Chris Burden, who died on April 10 at age 69, is best known here for his 202 antique street lamps in front of LACMA—they’ve become an icon of the city—but one of his most fascinating and misunderstood works is The Other Vietnam Memorial– 3 million Vietnamese names etched into a dozen gigantic copper plates that stand 13 feet high.
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Videotape the police? There’s an App for that: KPFK 4/6

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The ACLU in California has released a free smart-phone app that allows people to send cellphone videos of police encounters to the ACLU, automatically—and the ACLU will preserve the video footage, even if the cops seize the phone and delete the video or destroy the phone. The app, “Mobile Justice CA,” works for both iPhones and Android users. It’s available at Apple’s App Store and at Google PlayHECTOR VILLAGRA of the ACLU-SoCal will explain.

Plus: It’s official: Bernie Sanders will be debating Hillary Clinton as they compete for the Democratic presidential nomination. JOHN NICHOLS will comment on the significance of the announcement by the DNC—he’s Washington editor of The Nation, and blogs at  And ALAN MINSKY will introduce clips of Bernie speaking recently in Hollywood — Alan is Program Director at KPFK.