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).
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Joe explains tenant unionism as a direct corollary to historically proven methods of labor unionism: strength of numbers, solidarity and collective action, and direct/material forms power in the landlord-tenant relationship. They also consider how a tight supply of housing doesn't adequately explain where rent increases come from. Joe argues that the provision of housing "as a business" or investment , and the overt or implicit class solidarity between landlords and other BIGGER profiteering interests (like banks, developers, and insurance agencies), is the elephant in the housing-crisis room, and is necessary to consider when assessing rising rents, expensive apartments, displacement, as well as discrimination and retaliation against tenants.
1. Desiree Hellegers talks with Cowlitz Tribal members about the threat to their ancentral lands from a mining company.
2. Laurie Mercier and Joe Clement discuss the purpose, strategy and actions of the Portland Tenant Union.
3. Jeremy Olsen discusses water and pesticides and pesticide alternatives with Old Mole Bill Resnick.
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Joe Clement hosts this Martin Luther King Day edition of the Old Mole, and we hear
1. Bill Resnick talks with educator Jesse Hagopian about teaching the radical MLK instead of the sanitized version celebrated in the mainstream.
2. Joe Clement presents an audio-montage about religion and revolution.
3. Jan Haaken inverviews Professor Carol Joffe about where the abortion rights movement stands today.
You can hear the whole show by clicking on the play button below. To hear individual segments, follow the links above. Please look for us and like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or write to us at OldMoleVarietyHour@gmail.com.
Bill Resnick talks with China scholar Richard Smith regarding China's economic and environmental problems. Smith's writing is available on Truthout , including his article on China's Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse. They discuss the recent crisis in China's economy, and Smith notes the coexistence of capitalist enterprises the larger state sector, and how China has the worst of both market and bureaucratic economies: as a bureaucratic collectivist capitalist economy, China faces structural pressures to keep the economy going despite drastic consequences for the environment, and despite environmental laws. Having built an economy on superexploitation or "police state capitalism," the government has more recently made concessions to the massive protests by workers in the last ten years, propping up a system of overproduction to maintain employment and raise wages. Producing things they dont need--whether junk for export or ghost cities --energy is expended to keep the extractive economy (rather than life) going on. Although China is the world's largest producer of solar panels, it lacks the grid to put renewable energy to wide use.
[image via wikimedia]
Desiree Hellegers interviews John Linder on the history of Portland anti-war activism since the first Gulf War.
Desiree mentions the Rally and March w/ Portland Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group and Portland Peaceful Response Coalition on Friday, January 15, 2016, 4:30-6:00 PM at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Broadway, to demand an End to 25 Years of Killing: US Out of Iraq.
Linder reminisces about organizing in Portland against the first Gulf War in 1991, holding vigils at Pioneer Courthouse Square, building momentum, and organizing with a wide variety of concerned Portlanders. He notes the legacy of that organizing in the founding of various groups, including Portland Peace and Justice Works, and in the greater sophistication of local organizing against the second Gulf War in 2003. The legacy of the first Gulf War itself lies in the USA's ongoing military presence and the blowback against it.
[image via wikipedia]