Frann Michel's blog


It's hard to be poor. People who are not poor often fail to understand this, and the attempts of social scientists to explain things are often less illuminating than the narratives of the poor or formerly poor.

Recently, a number of sites have reposted a blog entry from Linda Tirado, in which she tries to explain

  . . . how it is that people make what look from the outside like awful decisions. This is what our lives are like, and here are our defense mechanisms, and here is why we think differently. . . .

Indigenous People's Day

Best wishes on Indigenous People's Day. Well, that's one name for it. The US Federal government still recognizes it as Columbus Day, as does Google's Holiday calendar, and the State of Oregon ignores the whole question.

But the old history that proposes that Columbus "discovered" America in 1492 has been widely challenged. In 1992, Berkeley, California renamed the holiday Indigenous People's Day, and other localities have subsequently followed suit.

Pillaging Public Pensions

WRR: Pensions

Last week, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber called for a special legislative session (to begin 8am September 30th) noting that "we have an opportunity to combine cost savings from reforms to the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) and new revenue to restore lost school days." In other words, maybe we can remedy some of the draconian cuts made to education in recent years by slashing the pensions of retired teachers and other public workers. Or in other words, let's pit old people against children.

Happy Labor Day?

Happy Labor Day.

Or, is it?

You might have noticed that Labor is not doing so well lately.

Orange is the New

On the 19 August 2013 Old Mole Variety Hour, Iven Hale and I discuss the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, about life in a women's minimum security Federal prison. Developed by Jenji Kohan, known for having created the Showtime series Weeds, Orange is the New Black is based on a memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman, though the show makes a number of changes from the book. Like Kerman, Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, is a college-educated white woman incarcerated for having transported drug money for her lover ten years before she was convicted and sentenced to a year in a women's prison. Hijinks ensue.

Some movie mole reviews


Movie Moles: Star Trek: Into Darkness

Old Mole Variety Hour 6/10/2013

Movie Moles Frann Michel and Joe Clement discuss the politics of race, gender and imperialism in the latest Star Trek movie against the background of the whole series of Star Trek films.

Movie Moles: Shift Change

Old Mole Variety Hour 5/06/2013

young white men with guns

There have been so many of these incidents that it's useful to have timelines and maps just to keep track of these things.

WRR: Trans-Pacific Partnership

For the Old Mole Variety HourOctober 1, 2012

Oppose the TPP:


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