Old Mole Variety Hour


The Old Mole burrows down to the roots of the great issues of our time – the struggles of ordinary people for democratic and sustainable ways of life.  The Mole goes where corporate media fear to tread, supporting grassroots challenges to top-down authority and giving voice to movements that shake the foundations of an unjust society.  The Moles' perspective is democratic, broadly socialist, and feminist.  (We count Karl Marx as a friend).

Here is why we call this show "The Old Mole"

Old Mole on Facebook

 Our theme "Mole in the Ground" is by Bascom Lamar Lunsford  (1924), somtimes blended with a newer versions, like the one  by dj/rupture, sung by Sindhu Zagoren.  It's on the album Special Gunpowder

Our graphic lettering is  by Charlie Ertola. Host portraits by Clayton Morgareidge.

For individual segments and information about episodes, click the "audio" tab.

You can leave comments for the Moles at  oldmolevarietyhour@gmail.com or by clicking on the comment section for any of our audio pieces.  


Episode Archive

Old Mole Variety Hour on 11/05/12

Air date: 
Mon, 11/05/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Hurricane Sandy, Elections, review of a Howard Zinn biography, anarchist POV on electoral politics


Joe Clement hosts this pre-Election Day Old Mole and we hear:

Old Mole Variety Hour on 10/29/12

Air date: 
Mon, 10/29/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Zombies, capitalism, book-reviews, #n3

 On this episode of the Old Mole Variety Hour, Iven Hale hosts and we hear:

  • Bill Resnick talk with Leo Panich
  • Iven Hale reviews a book
  • Joe Clemen reads a piece about Zombie Capitalism
  • Tom Becker reads from the Left Press
  • Joe Clement also interviews Gina from the Portland Action Lab about November 3rd.

Old Mole Variety Hour on 10/29/12

Air date: 
Mon, 10/29/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
A program of social and political commentary from a socialist-feminist point of view.

Old Mole Variety Hour on 10/22/12

Air date: 
Mon, 10/22/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
An hour of social and political commentary from a socialist-feminist perspective.


Tom Becker hosts this Old Mole Variety Hour and we hear:

  • Bill Resnick interviews an activist or scholar working on the Left.
  • Movie Moles, Frann Michel and Denise Morris, review Maquilapolis, a 2006 film about multnationally-owned factories employing cheap labor in Mexico.
  • Alan Wieder remembers Ruth First, an anti-apartheid activist who was assissinated 30 years ago.
  • Tom reads from the Left Press.

Old Mole Variety Hour on 10/15/12

Air date: 
Mon, 10/15/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Reducing prison time for low risk offenders; Have women won more clout in the world than men?


Jan Haaken hosts this edition of the Old Mole on which

Old Mole Variety Hour on 10/08/12

Air date: 
Mon, 10/08/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Membership-Drive Special on DRUGS


Bill Resnick or Jan Haaken hosts this membership-drive special on DRUGS

Old Mole Variety Hour on 10/01/12

Air date: 
Mon, 10/01/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
NFL Lockout, Labor against War, Well Read Red

Joe Clement hosts this Old Mole and we hear:

  • Bill Resnick discusses the NFL referee lockout. He considers their complaint over pensions, how unions promote high work standards, and why unions need to shed their bureacratic service-orientation for a rank-and-file solidarity-model.
  • Frann Michel, our Well Read Red, reads from the left press.
  • Laurie Mercier talks with Michael Zweig about building the labor movement back into a force against imperialist wars, particularly in light of Afganistan.

Old Mole Variety Hour on 09/10/12

Air date: 
Mon, 09/10/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Leo Panitch, Searching for Sugar Man, against the work-ethic, reading from the left press


Tom Becker hosts this Old Mole and we hear:


Robin Hahnel on the Next System

program date: 
Mon, 10/19/2015

Bill Resnick talks with Robin Hahnel, who teaches (an emeritus of American U now at PSU), writes, speaks, and is deeply engaged in grass roots struggles towards building that other possible necessary world, that democratic and sustainable alternative. His books include Green Economics: Confronting the Ecological Crisis, Socialism Today and Tomorrow, and The ABCs of Political-Economy. About Green Economics his publisher wrote: "This book's pluralistic, non-dogmatic, and committed investigation of the values of ecological sustainability, economic justice, and human dignity provides balanced analysis of environmental problems and their potential solutions."

They discuss the big picture: a need for a sense of an alternative to the current system, that in fact there are communities that have demonstrated that that we possess the technologies and resources of production to curb climate change to manageable levels and think tanks and academic groups who have developed reasonable ideas and plans for developing an economic system that could maintain sufficient production to keep people alive and satisfied, that could raise and deploy resources and set priorities for investment and research, and also integrate these communities into confederated regions and nations. But how and in what sorts of struggles do we build the political forces powerful enough, in the conditions of environmental/economic crisis likely to prevail, to overpower the political forces that now hold back the needed reconstruction?

Robin recommends these websites for more information:

on participatory economics http://www.participatoryeconomics.info/  and http://zcomm.org/category/topic/parecon/

economics for equity and the environment http://e3network.org/

future economy http://futureecon.com/

labor network for sustainability http://www.labor4sustainability.org/

[image by Johann Dréo]

Columbia Riverkeeper: Saving the NW and Planet

program date: 
Mon, 10/19/2015

Desiree Hellegers talks with Dan Serres of Columbia Riverkeeper about the fossil fuel struggle. They discuss the disastrous effects of the planned Liquified Natural Gas Export Terminals and the need to stand up to the oil companies. They mention the successful citizen action to stop the Bradwood LNG project, and also note an upcoming event for more information and to make connections with others working on these issues:

October 22, 2015; 6:30 pm Panel Discussion on Two Reckless LNG Export Proposals on Thursday, October 22, 2015, doors at 6:30pm, panel at 7:00pm at First Unitarian Church Fuller Hall Downtown Portland. Panelists include scientists, climate activists, and community leaders who will offer ideas about how you can plug into the fight to stop LNG in Oregon!

[image by Paul K Anderson from columbia riverkeeper]

Book Mole on Kent Haruf

program date: 
Mon, 10/19/2015

Book mole Larry Bowlden reviews the work of the late Kent Haruf, and recommends the work of this quiet writer of the heart, who writes in simple, direct prose; Larry particularly discusses his novels Plainsong, Benediction, Eventide, and the posthumously published Our Souls at Night.

You can find more of Larry's reviews here.

Kathy Farr on School Shootings

program date: 
Mon, 10/19/2015

Jan Haaken interviews Kathy Farr, professor emeritus at PSU, on her current research on school shootings. She looks at middle and high school rampage shootings over the past 30 years and takes up some of the gender and social dynamics that seem to be driving these expressions of rage. They note the inadequacy of simply calling for more mental health counseling.

[ image from wikimedia commons]

The Old Mole Variety Hour for October 19, 2015

program date: 
Mon, 10/19/2015
Old Mole Variety Hour
Jan Haaken hosts this episode of the Old Mole, with music by Woody Guthrie and local Portland groups. Follow the links below for individual segments and more information, or click on the play button to hear the whole show. Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Send us comments at oldmolevarietyhour at gmail dot com.

Bill Resick talks with Robin Hahnel about environmental crisis and economics beyond capitalism

Desiree Hellegers talks with Dan Serres of Columbia Riverkeeper about urgent actions to stop fossil fuel development in the Pacific Northwest

Book Mole Larry Bowlden reviews the work of the late novelist Kent Haruf

Jan talks with sociologist Kathy Farr about school shootings and young white men's rage

  • Title: OMVH19Oct2015
  • Length: 54:36 minutes (24.99 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

Welcome To the New Planet

program date: 
Mon, 10/12/2015
 Tom Becker reads from "Welcome to a New Planet: Climate Change ‘Tipping Points’ and the Fate of the Earth" by Michael T. Klare. Klare dismisses the belief that climate change will proceed in a slow, linear progression but rather is likely to proceed by sudden catastrophic leaps from which there will be no possibility of recovery. 

Native People and Climate Change

program date: 
Mon, 10/12/2015
Zoltán Grossman, Professor of Geography and Native Studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, discusses some ongoing alliances between Native Americans and rural whites in organizing on behalf of the environment to halt mining companies, the XL pipeline, and developing responses to climate change.
Grossman is a longtime community organizer, and among groups is affiliated with the Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations project  at Evergreen. He is co-editor of book Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisis (Oregon State University Press), writes for Common Dreams and other publications, and is currently working on a book about rural Native/non-Native environmental alliances.

The Old Mole Variety Hour for October 12, 2015

program date: 
Mon, 10/12/2015
October 12 is Indigenous People's Day -- formerly known as "Columbus Day." The show, hosted this week by Tom Becker, features an interview about native Americans joining forces with white ranchers to deal with climate change issues that affect them all. We also hear other interviews and commentaries about what people are doing on environmental matters.
To hear the whole show, use the play button below. To hear individual segments, follow these links. And don't forget to keep up with (and like)  us on Facebook!

1.  Greenberg, Kansas goes green -- Bill Resnick talks with Mayor Dixson.

2.  Tod Sloan discusses how historical memory helps social movements with oral historian and activist Sandy Polishuk.

3.  Tom Becker reads from Michael T. Klare's article, "Welcome to the New Planet"

4.  Old Mole Laurie Mercier talks with Professor Zoltán Grossman about "cowboy and Indian" alliances to save their lands from coal and natural gas extraction.

Kansas Evironmentalism

program date: 
Mon, 10/12/2015
Bill Resnick interviews Bob Dixson, the mayor of Greensberg, Kansas,  a small, white, Republican-voting farming town.  After a tornado devastated 95% of the city, they decided to rebuild to be a carbon free city using only renewable energy -- a small wind farm that fed into its publicly owned and run electric utility. And along the way they made the city biking and walking friendly, and built a golf course and swimming pool within the city limits.

Learning from History

program date: 
Mon, 10/12/2015
Tod Sloan interviews Sandy Polishuk, oral historian and long-time activist, on the importance of historical memory in social movements, both for inspiration and for the lessons that can be learned. Polishuk is divestment lead coordinator for 350PDX.


Avatar's Jake Sully is ---- Tarzan - - -


A great review I've seen on Avatar (and how the soldier will save the people):


There is a link from there that exposes Cameron's plot as a mirror of Pocahontas, amazing parallel!      http://failblog.org/2010/01/10/avatar-plot-fail/


Since watching Avatar, I have viewed older videos on DVD and would rate that ahead of Avatar.






commentary transcripts

It's convenient to have the Old Mole audio files available.
Even more useful for some of us would be transcripts of the commentaries (Clayton Morgareidge). Written material allows a person a chance to review, consider, digest and refer to mentioned references & thinkers. The "Well Read Red" commentary from 4 Aug 08 is a good example of a piece I'd like to read at my own pace.


We will see to it that this happens whenever there is a prepared text. Thanks for the suggestion. Clayton Morgareidge The Old Mole Variety Hour

These folks are so profound

These folks are so profound and fascinating, especially the Resnick guy. Wow!


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