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).
Our graphic lettering is by Charlie Ertola.
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Laurie Mercier talks with Stefanie Penn Spear of the environmental news website Ecowatch.org about the big stories of the past year. These include increasing recognition of human-caused climate change, toxins in consumer products, the dangers of fracking (including mining for sand, earthquakes, use and contamination of water with radioactivity and toxic chemicals) as well as more positive news about tax credits for wind farms, sustainable agriculture, and communities moving to100% renewable energy.
Historian James Livingston has recently argued that the left has actually won a great deal in the US. He talks here with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about the many ways in which the US can be regarded as "socialist".
Our Book Mole Larry Bowlden reviews Alice Munro's latest collection of short stories Dear Life about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Munro, Larry says, is not merely the greatest living author of short stories, but simply the best living writer. More of Larry's reviews can be found here.
Joe Clement hosts this last show closing out 2012. We hear an upbeat assessment of socialism's unheralded (by the left) successes over the long haul; a review of the great short story writer Alice Munro's latest collection; and a discussion of two movies about fracking, one by local film maker Gus Van Sant. Following Bill Resnick's and James Livingston's conversation about socialism, Joe Clement reads a passage from Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto discussing types of socialism, and you can read it here.
To hear the complete show, use the play button below. For individual pieces, follow these links:
Movie Moles Jan Haaken and Joe Clement discuss two movies about fracking. One is the new Gus Van Sant film starring Matt Damon "Promised Land." The other is a documentary Gasland by Josh Fox. You can watch "Gasland" on line.
Alan Wieder comments on connection between the Sandy Hook shootings and drone-warfare. He considers the lamentations Americans and its leaders especially offer when certain American children are murdered in the context of drone-warfare and their otherwise disregard for children's lives around the world.
Tom Becker reads George Monbiot's essay, republished on Alternet, about the insanity of waste hidden in consumerism and the political barriers to questioning it. Monbiot considers how so many trinkets, disposable goods, planned and perceived obsolesence, are forced upon us and the planet through growth-driven economics and a vision of prosperity.
Joe Clement interviews Brandon and Alex, organizers with the Portland Solidarity Network. PDXSol, as it's sometimes referred to, is an all volunteer organization that helps workers and tenants and other people resist abuse, demand what people are owed, and bridge the gap between workplace and community organizing. They discuss what solidarity networks are, what they can do and why they work. They consider a case of success with the new Portland Solidarity Network. They also talk a little about other solidarity networks, like SeaSol. If you would like to participate in organizing or be on-call for mobilization to support actions, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-446-6065.
Tom Becker hosts today's Christmas Eve episode. We hear about the Chinese labor movement, the hypocrisy of Obama's mourning at Newtown, the Portland Solidarity Network, and the limits of consumer culture.
- Bill Resnick interviews Eli Friedman about the Chinese labor-movement.
- Alan Wieder offers a commentary on Newtown in the context of drone warfare.
- Joe Clement interviews organizers from the Portland Solidarity Network.
- Tom reads an essay by George Monbiot about the obscenity & pathology of consumer culture.
To hear the whole show, use the play button below. To hear individual pieces, follow the links above.
Bill Resnick talks with Eli Friedman about the Chinese labor movement. He challenges the idea that they are "stealing our jobs" and in conscious comeptition with American workers. They talk about the strike-waves that the Chinese State refer to as "mass incidents". There is no legal right to strike in China, so every strike is a wild-cat. Eli talks about how the State tries to control workers, through the All China Federation of Trade Unions and other measures. Eli argues that the Chinese labor movement is at the epicenter of global worker unrest and marvelously successful without legal or formal union support.