AFGHANISTAN (2009) 1) MATHEW HOH, resigned Foreign Service, 2) MALALAI JOYA, expelled from Parliament

Written on May 11th, 2021

President Biden will remove all troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years, the longest war in our nation’s history. Here are two interviews from 2009: First, MATHEW HOH, a former Marine who resigned from the foreign service in protest. “American families must be reassured their dead have sacrificed for a worthy purpose…and I have lost confidence such assurances can be made.” Second, MALALAI JOYA, youngest member elected to Afghan parliament in 2005, expelled in 2007. “The fact that I was kicked out of office while brutal warlords enjoyed immunity from prosecution should tell you all you need to know about the ‘democracy’ backed by NATO troops.”

MARK BITTMAN-Animal, Vegetable, Junk-A history of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal

Written on April 30th, 2021

When a guy who’s written 30,000 recipes, 30 books, and spent decades with the New York Times writes a book with the title – ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, JUNK: A History of Food from Sustainable to Suicidal – I take notice. What drove him to write this? What does someone who clearly knows and loves food have to say about how badly things have gotten – and what we need to do to turn things around before it’s too late?

www.markbittman.com

LUIS RODRIGUEZ-Native roots, Latinx experience, and a sage call for reconnection

Written on April 16th, 2021

I sought out LUIS RODRIGUEZ, writer in many genres, activist, and the former poet laureate of Los Angeles, for his sage take on the city, the state, the nation, and the experience of Latinx people in all three as we emerge from the Trump presidency. I got even more than I’d expected. Grounded in his native roots, his latest book, FROM OUR LAND TO OUR LAND: Essays, Journeys, and Imaginings from A Native Xicanx Writer, calls on humanity to reconcile with nature and to reconnect with ourselves, each other, and the divine. You can learn more at luisjrodriguez.com

AMY BACH (2009) Why Justice Loses on a Daily Basis in America’s Courts

Written on April 9th, 2021

Attorney AMY BACH spent eight years investigating the chronic lapses in courts across America. Lawyers sleep through trials. False confessions and mistaken eye-witnesses convict the innocent. The rich walk, the poor go to prison. Her book, ORDINARY INJUSTICE, reveals a culture of complicity among prosecutors, defenders, and judges that rewards shoddiness and sacrifices defendants and victims to keep the court calendar moving.

DAVID DALEY-Fighting minority rule-RATF**KED: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count; UNRIGGED: Americans Battling Back

Written on April 2nd, 2021

The US holds one national popular vote and Republicans have only won that vote once since 1988. Yet they have held the presidency nearly 12 of those years, and as a result, they dominate the Supreme Court. They hold 50 Senate seats though they’ve received millions fewer votes than Democrats in Senate elections. DAVID DALEY charted the worst of the Republicans’ efforts in his best-seller on gerrymandering, RATF**KED: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count, but he also draws hope from the citizens he writes about in UNRIGGED: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy