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 Clement hosts this labor day special, which features conversations about reducing the work week and having real power in society as workers, challenging stagnant norms in union organizing, the problem with work and utopianism. We also hear clips of political humor in honor of the late Robin Williams.
- Joe and Nathan Schneider both ask "Who Stole The Four Hour Work Day?" and talk about the labor movement's historically most powerful campaign: the reduction of the work week.
- Bill Resnick and Norm Diamond discuss rank-and-file union organizing and review Jane McAlevey's "Raising Expectations, Raising Hell: my decade fighting for the labor movement".
- Joe discusses utopianism with former guest Kathi Weeks, author of "The Problem With Work".
- Genre: Other
- Length: 57:35 minutes (79.07 MB)
- Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 192Kbps (CBR)
Nathan Schneider is a journalist whose articles appear in Harpers, The New York Times, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He is also an editor of Waging Nonviolence, and maintains his own blog The Row Boat.
- Title: WhoStoleTheFourHourWorkDay?
- Length: 20:24 minutes (18.68 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Bill Resnick interviews Kristian Williams about policing in Ferguson. Williams is the author of several books on state violence, including Our Enemies in Blue , which argues that the role of the police is to enforce social inequality. Noting that Michael Brown's killing by a police officer is sadly typical, Williams traces to the social protests of the 1960s both the the militarization of the police and the corollary development of community policing, meant to develop networks in neighborhoods so as to rely less on violence and more on alliances with community leaders. He notes that the military now looks at domestic policing as a model for counterinsurgency overseas. He describes the broken windows theory of policing, which assumes small infractions are precursors to more serious crime or social disorder, and treats them as opportunities for police to assert their full authority. In practice this creates in disempowered communities a reservoir of underlying grievances and resentment of police and what they stand for, but authorities find it easier to police those who are less likely to fight back with lawsuits. Thus policing preserves inequality through structural as well as ideological racism and class power. They discuss Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's essay "The Coming Race War Won't Be About Race," and consider the usefulness for the ruling class to divide the oppressed, pitting the middle class against the poor, and in other ways fracturing the potential solidarity of dominated groups.
Tom Becker reads from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's "The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race" on events in Ferguson and the problem of inequality.
Clayton Morgareidge discusses the kind of movement needed to challenge inequality and save the environment. Noting that neoliberalism rationalizes plutocracy and the security apparatus needed to put down rebellions against the elites, Clayton draws on an essay by Sam Gindin in Jacobin . He stresses that austerity and environmental catastrophism do not motivate organizing for change, and highlights the importance of reckoning with state power--not just protesting, but remaking the state. Although we need to appreciate the differences that led to the development of identity politics, he argues that only by forging alliances based on class can we successfully address the tasks before us.
In light of the recent death of Robin Williams, Iven Hale reflects on depression and suicide. Statistics indicate a global epidemic of depression, although those figures work in the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. While medication can be life changing and life saving for those suffering this genuine and physical as well as mental illness, Iven questions the risk that the Western medical model poses to alternative cultural and political traditions of suicide. Sharing stories drawn from personal and familial experience as well as from her work as a mental health professional and social worker, Iven raises questions about the obligation of mental health professionals to stop people who are suffering from killing themselves, and about whether those who end their lives are never in their right minds. She challenges the social criticism of both depression and suicide, and emphasizes sufferers' resiliency and dignity.
This episode is hosted by Tom Becker, and features reflections on class war, police violence, challenging capitalism, and addressing depression and suicide.
Tom reads from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's controversial comments on the role of class in Ferguson.
Bill Resnick interviews Kristian Williams about the events in Ferguson.
Clayton Morgareidge discusses Unmaking Capitalism.
In light of the recent death of Robin Williams, Iven Hale reflects on depression and suicide.
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- Title: OldMole25August2014
- Length: 56:57 minutes (26.07 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)
Jan Haaken talks with volunteer and board member Robert Adams and co-manager Kris Soebroto of the non-profit Sisters of the Road Cafe in Old Town, which for nearly 35 years has been serving immediate needs and seeking systemic change. The Cafe offers hot meals in exchange for $1.50 cash, for work barter, or for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Work credits earned at Sisters can also be used at Portland Farmers' Markets, and field trips from Sisters introduce the farmer-vendors and explain how to use the foods they offer. Sisters also partners with the Sauvie Island Organics farm Food Works program, which teaches teenagers about farming. Jan, Robert, and Kris also discuss the central role of volunteers at Sisters of the Road: the organization recognizes that nourishment is about not just food but also community, and provides opportunities for people to come together.
Frann Michel hosts this episode, with segments on police violence in Honduras, Ferguson, and Palestine, and on a local non-profit nourishing bodies and communities in Portland. Musical selections: Sound of da Police by KRS One; Call the Cops by Rob Hustle ft. Liv; Tired of Being Stepped On by the Click; and Revolution by Nina Simone.
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To hear the whole show (including the music), use the play button below. To hear individual pieces, follow these links:
Bill Resnick talks with Dana Frank about Honduras
Frann Michel shares left commentary on the militarizing of policing
Joe Clement and Jan Haaken review the Palestinian film Omar
Jan talks with Kris Soebroto and Robert Adams about Sisters of the Road Cafe
- Title: aug182014omvh.m4a
- Length: 57:31 minutes (26.33 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)