- THE FIFTIES: UNDERGROUND HISTORY-Heroes who blazed trails for the ’60s-JAMES GAINESIn his new book, THE FIFTIES: An Underground History, JAMES GAINES asks: Who laid the groundwork for the ’60s – and then celebrates a few solitary, brave, stubborn individuals who pioneered the radical gay rights, feminist, civil rights, and environmental movements. Their courage and genius changed what it was possible to imagine. As early as the mid-1940s, Harry Hay said “Gay is good.” Pauli Murray laid legal paths for Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Black vets of WWII and Korea said enough is enough. Silent Spring’s Rachel Carson and MIT’s Norbert Wiener warned of potential manmade environmental destruction. You’ll be inspired and you’ll learn a lot. I did.
- BRANKO MILANOVIC-When capitalism rules the world, how can we shrink inequality and confront climate change?In the first two years of the pandemic, globally the top 1% captured nearly double the amount of new wealth as the other 99%. In Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World, BRANKO MILANOVIC says we’re all capitalists now. Liberal capitalism delivers rampant inequality and excess as it fights for hearts and minds with political capitalism, as practiced by China. What are the prospects for a fairer world now that capitalism is the only game in town?
- Method to Supreme Court’s Madness-DAHLIA LITHWICK plus LADY JUSTICE: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save AmericaSince 1988, the GOP has won only one national popular vote but has named 11 of 15 Supreme Court justices. The current 6-3 court is a uniquely powerful tool of Minority rule. Their radical decisions last summer went against the majority of Americans on church and state, guns, environmental protection, the climate crisis, and women’s rights. I talk with DAHLIA LITHWICK – senior legal correspondent at Slate and host of Slate’s Amicus podcast – about that eventful term and some of the big cases of the current term. We examine how this court operates in order to achieve their extreme agenda. And we talk about her new book, LADY JUSTICE – stories of courageous and principled women lawyers who worked to hold the line against the Trump administration.
- Looking ahead to 2023-LYNNE TWIST-LIVING A COMMITTED LIFE: Finding Freedom & Fulfillment in a Purpose Larger Than YourselfAs we reach the end of one year and the beginning of another, many of us take stock of how we live and what we value. Here’s my conversation with LYNNE TWIST about her new book, LIVING A COMMITTED LIFE: Finding Freedom and Fulfillment in a Purpose Larger Than Yourself. She asks us to consider “a commitment to the common good: to something that takes you out of yourself and into the realm of service.” I think the challenge and opportunity Lynne offers in her work and in her new book is timely and worthy of our attention. You can learn more at Lynne’s site, soulofmoney.org.
- SARA DAVIDSON, THE DECEMBER PROJECT – Conversations with Zalman Shachter-Shalomi on the meaning & mystery of life and death
I wish you, your loved ones, and those without loved ones at this time, health, safety, peace, and joy. At this time of reflection, here’s my 2014 conversation with SARA DAVIDSON about her book, THE DECEMBER PROJECT. Sara met every Friday for the last year of his life with 89-year-old Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement. What did they talk about? In his words, “When you can feel in your cells that you’re coming to the end of your tour of duty, what is the spiritual work of this time, and how do we prepare for the mystery?”
- Taxpayers fund drug research. Corporations reap obscene profits from “our” discoveries. ALEXANDER ZAITCHIK, OWNING THE SUN:A People’s History of Monopoly MedicineWhy are medications essential to survival so outrageously expensive? Why are vaccines for a global pandemic a source of huge profits and limited availability? Why does the government allow private companies to patent and monopolize drugs resulting from tax funded research? Here’s my conversation with ALEXANDER ZAITCHIK about the revelations in his book, OWNING THE SUN:A People’s History of Monopoly Medicine from Aspirin to COVID-19 Vaccines. You can learn more at zaitchik.com
- Who wants a new Constitutional Convention? Sen. RUSS FEINGOLD & PETER PRINDIVILLE-Constitution in JeopardyAlthough Thomas Jefferson recommended we redraft our constitution every 19 years, the fact that we could actually face an Article 5 Constitutional Convention – if only a few more states vote for it – scares the hell out of me. It’s also a big problem that the Constitution has only been amended 17 times in 233 years, not once in the last 30. I talk with former Senator and current president of the American Constitution Society, RUSS FEINGOLD, and co-author, Peter Prindiville, about their new book, THE CONSTITUTION IN JEOPARDY: The Unprecedented Effort to Rewrite Our Fundamental Law and What We Can Do About It. This episode was recorded as a LiveTalksLA event October 24th in Santa Monica.
- Election Reflections with ROB JOHNSON-Not as bad as feared, not as good as desperately neededI share election reflections with ROB JOHNSON, President of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (ineteconomics.org) and host of the podcast Economics and Beyond. What happened? Who made the difference? How could so many vote for the party of grievance and lies? Why does the “good news” feel so profoundly disappointing? How can we turn things around? Will we deal with the critical challenges we face?
- As we await final counts and interpret results-ASTRA TAYLOR (2020) Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone
I can’t get Plato’s Paradox out of my head: Democracy inevitably leads to tyranny. The rich always want to get richer and the poor will follow demagogues who promise to overthrow the rich.I first learned of Plato’s pessimistic prophesy In ASTRA TAYLOR’S documentary WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? and her companion book, Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. Here’s our 2020 conversation. We explore democracy’s early roots as well as its current embattled state. Next week I’ll respond to the election with Rob Johnson of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
- DAVID DALEY, author RATFU_ _ED and UNRIGGED on voter suppression and our upcoming mid-terms
November 8th is the last day to vote in the current elections. Our democracy is under threat as is the availability, validity, accuracy, and reliability of voting and vote-counting. Between closing poll sites, purging voter rolls, and putting obstacles in the way of voting by mail, some states are going to great lengths to keep you from voting. I talk with DAVID DALEY, senior fellow at FairVote.org, author of RATF**KED (gerrymandering) and UNRIGGED (electoral reforms) re the good news and bad news regarding our upcoming mid—terms.