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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Work is supposed to give life meaning, but are not our lives meaningful even when we can't work? In this commentary, Iven Hale draws on her own work and life experience to question the way work happens to us in this capitalist society.
Bill Resnick talks with John Farrell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance about local control of energy, the value of democratic control and participatory society, and how the economics of energy has changed in recent years to make this more feasible as well, especially given the increasing costs of transporting energy long distances. They note that Boulder, CO in 2011 voted to form a municipal utility and Minneapolis, MN is currently considering the same possibility, and they consider a variety of programs for clean contracts or feed-in tariffs.
Alan Wieder discusses the boycott of a standardized test by the teachers at Garfield HS in Seattle. He points out the many problems with standardized tests and the ways they are (mis)used, and notes the widespread and increasing support for the boycott. He also draws on the words of Garfield teacher and activist Jesse Hagopian and the comments of Garfield graduate and education theorist Wayne Au to highlight alternative methods of assessment, the importance of creative and critical thinking, and the value of collective resistance to corporate education agendas.
Psychologist and Mole Jan Haaken and attorney Mike Snedeker discuss the case of Mohamed Mohamud. They consider the legal meanings of entrapment and the history of government use of entrapment in child pornography cases in the 1980s. Despite the wide public recognition of the extraordinary manipulation and pressure placed on the defendant by the FBI, the government typically wins such cases. Arguably, of the 150 recent prosecutions for terrorism charges, only three were pre-existing terrorist cells; most of the cases involved "equipment malfunction" as seen in the Mohamud case. Mike suggests that this manufacturing of cases serves to maintain the budget of the FBI rather than to keep America safe. Jan recommends the book The Terror Factory: Inside The FBI's Manufactured War On Terrorism.
Tom Becker hosts this episode featuring the music of the late Portland bluesman Paul deLay and segments on possibilites for local and democratic control of sustainable energy sources, the mistake of valuing economic "growth," the role of entrapment in the government's war on terrorism, and the brave solidarity of Seattle teachers boycotting standardized testing.
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In spite of the coincidence of Obama's inauguration for a second term as President with the celebration of Martin Luther King day, Obama is not the realization of King's dreams. Clayton Morgareidge reads a commentary by Glen Ford from the Black Agenda Report.
- Title: MLK v. Obama
- Length: 4:13 minutes (1.93 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)
Movie Moles Joe Clement and Iven Hale discuss the new Quentin Tarantino movie about slavery set in the pre-Civil War South "Django Unchained." What does this film have to say about punishment, revenge, and solidarity? Following the review is a new song "Let Your Voice be Heard" by a new Portland band -- Pointed Man Band -- written in remembrance of Martin Luther King.
Old Moles Bill Resnick and Jan Haaken carry on a well-informed inquiry into gun violence, gun control and mental health, and into the conversation going on in the political mainstream.
It is clear that human activity is gradually destroying our planet and that ever rising standards of living in the industrialized and industrializing nations is not sustainable. But what would a sustainable economy look like? Tom Becker reads from David Korten's piece "What Would a Down-to-Earth Economy Look Like?"