Author Archives: forthrightradio

Gaia Vince TRANSCENDENCE: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty & Time

Gaia Vince is an environmental journalist, author and broadcaster. Her work focuses largely on the interplay between humans and the planetary environment. Her latest book, TRANSCENDENCE: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty & Time, was published in the United States in January, 2020 by Basic Books.

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Her first book, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made, won the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, making her the first woman to win the prize outright. That book discussed the Anthropocene, the geological epoch that began when human activities started to have a significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems.

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She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and her writing has featured in newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, The Times and Scientific American. She also writes and presents science programs for radio and television. Her research takes her across the world: she has visited more than 60 countries. She currently lives in London, where we spoke with her via Skype.

In addition to fire and language, Gaia Vince asserts that beauty was a powerful force in human evolution. She cites artifacts such as the “Lion Man”, the oldest known zoomorphic sculpture and uncontested example of figurative art, between 35,000 and 40,000 years old. It was carved of mammoth ivory using a flint knife and stands 31.1cm tall, 5.6cm wide and 5.9cm thick.

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Recent articles pertinent to this interview:

Cave find shows Neanderthals collected seafood, scientists say   https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/26/cave-find-shows-neanderthals-collected-seafood-scientists-say

The Fight to Preserve a 44,000-year-old Painting    https://www.1843magazine.com/features/the-fight-to-preserve-a-44000yearold-painting?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Fossil hunters find evidence of 555m-year-old human relative  https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/23/fossil-ikaria-wariootia-bilateral-organism-human-relative

El Silbo Gomero     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtEovudxXVE

Whistled Turkish helps speak across valleys                                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjcVLLdPCoU

500,000-year-old shell engraved by Homo erectus challenges previous beliefs about human ancestors    https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/500000-year-old-shell-engraved-homo-erectus-challenges-beliefs-020122

Whistled language of the island of La Gomera, the Silbo Gomero  (UNESCO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgEmSb0cKBg

Big Gods Came After the Rise of Civilizations, Not Before, Finds Study Using Huge Historical Database         https://theconversation.com/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database-113801

Rift Valley Drifters written/sung by Roy Zimmerman                           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqy44OsmwLo

Why it’s so hard to be rational about Covid-19      https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200331-covid-19-how-will-the-coronavirus-change-the-world

 

Betsy Gaines Quammen American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West

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In her book, American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West, just out from Torrey House Press, Dr. Betsy Gaines Quammen, PhD, documents the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and how their beliefs led to Cliven Bundy’s scoff-law actions, including decades of grazing his cattle on public lands without legal permits and refusing to pay over $1million in fines and fees, leading to armed followers in tense stand-offs with federal employees in Nevada and Oregon.

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 1.42.07 PM.pngAfter environmental laws such as The Endangered Species Act, The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) required the federal government to assess public lands and protect endangered species such as the Desert Tortoise, individuals such as The Bundys and groups such as The Sagebrush Rebellion and the so-called Wise Use Movement arose to defy federal protections encroaching on what they considered their traditional way of life.

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[Cliven Bundy and an endangered Desert Tortoise (Reuters/Jim Urquhart/AP)]

This led to armed confrontations at the “Battle of Bunkerville” and “The Siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”

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Mormon prophecy contributes to the sense of religious righteousness and destiny, which motivate some to claim uniquely superior interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, considered to be a divinely inspired sacred text.

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[From left to right: Cliven Bundy, Ryan Bundy and Ammon Bundy.]

We end the program with a brief discussion of the unfolding Covid-19 Pandemic, the anti-science response of the Bundy network, and the work of Betsy’s husband, David Quammen, who in his book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012) predicted it was only a matter of time til a pandemic like this would occur.

Finally,  Dan Roberts reads his poem from 2006, “Helter Shelter.”

Past Forthright Radio programs referenced in this show include:

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https://forthright.media/2013/05/01/david-quammen-spillover-animal-infections-the-next-human-pandemic/

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https://forthright.media/2020/03/04/katherine-stewart-the-power-worshippers-inside-the-dangerous-rise-of-religious-nationalism/

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https://forthright.media/2019/10/16/christopher-ketcham-this-land-how-cowboys-apitalism-and-corruption-are-ruining-the-american-west/

Katherine Stewart The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism

 

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Katherine Stewart is a journalist whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Reuters, The Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, The Nation and more.

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Her earlier book is THE GOOD NEWS CLUB: THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT’S STEALTH ASSAULT ON AMERICA’S CHILDREN. Research for that book led her to discover the insidious depth and breadth of Christian Nationalism and its determination to radically alter the democratic foundations of the United States of America. Indeed, she documents the global reach of the movement toward authoritarianism, intolerance, plutocracy and aggrandizement of money and power for the “elect”.

The result is her latest book, THE POWER WORSHIPPERS: INSIDE THE DANGEROUS RISE OF RELIGIOUS NATIONALISM, published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

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Articles cited in this interview include:

How a data-backed Christian nationalist machine helped Trump to power  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/03/bill-dallas-christian-nationalist-right-donald-trump

Don’t Let Trump Pay Back Evangelicals Like This   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/06/opinion/sunday/trump-evangelicals.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Russia’s Putin wants traditional marriage and God in constitution   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51719764

The multimillion-dollar Christian group attacking LGBTQ+ rights     https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/20/alliance-defending-freedom-multimillion-dollar-conservative-christian-group-attacking-lgbtq-rights

The Traveling Salesman Bringing Abortion Bans To A Texas Town Near You   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-traveling-salesman-bringing-abortion-bans-to-a-texas-town-near-you_n_5e4479aec5b671eafe1e3880

Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan poet, priest and revolutionary, dies at 95   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ernesto-cardenal-nicaraguan-poet-priest-and-revolutionary-dies-at-95/2020/03/02/4baa213c-5c96-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html

Ernesto Cardenal, poet and Catholic priest, still causes controversy at age 86   https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/ernesto-cardenal-poet-and-catholic-priest-still-causes-controversy-at-age-86/2011/05/26/AGSok0EH_story.html?itid=lk_inline_manual_26

Poet and priest who mixed religion and politics in his commitment to social justice in Nicaragua   https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/06/ernesto-cardenal-obituary?

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Thom Hartmann: The War on Voting & Jane Kleeb: Harvest the Vote

 

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In the first segment, we speak with Thom Hartmann, whose latest book in his Hidden History series is: The Hidden History of THE WAR ON VOTING: WHO STOLE YOUR VOTE AND HOW TO GET IT BACK, published by Barrett- Koehler.

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In our second segment we speak with Jane Kleeb. Her book, HARVEST THE VOTE: HOW DEMOCRATS CAN WIN AGAIN IN RURAL AMERICA, was just published in January 2020 by Ecco.

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The Lost 110 Words of Our Constitution: The 14th Amendment says states that infringe the vote must lose representation in Congress. It’s time to make this happen. 

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/02/23/the-lost-constitutional-tool-to-protect-voting-rights-116612

Rural America Doesn’t Have to Starve to Death

https://www.thenation.com/article/economy/big-agribusiness-finance-farming/

TC Energy eyes further hurdles, not ready to commit to Keystone XL pipeline

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tc-energy-results/tc-energy-eyes-further-hurdles-not-ready-to-commit-to-keystone-xl-pipeline-idUSKBN2071ND

Democrats are reaching farmers with an exciting message: green agriculture

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/11/democrats-conservation-climate-rural-america

Farm Bankruptcies Soared 20% Amid Trump Trade War. It’s The Highest Rate In 8 Years.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/farm-bankruptcies-trump-trade-war_n_5e34a2d6c5b69a19a4af1ad0

For Democrats, the Road to Victory in 2020 Runs Through Rural America. This Report Offers a Road Map        http://inthesetimes.com/rural-america/entry/22279/2020-election-progressive-populism-peoples-action-win-rural-america-report?link_id=7&can_id=26389c9ba4e6ef1db60b08fdce8085f1&source=email-in-his-lies-biden-is-sounding-a-lot-like-trump-10-years-after-we-pledged-to-help-haiti-rebuild-heres-what-happened-2&email_referrer=email_713985&email_subject=medicare-for-all-could-save-transgender-lives-barbara-ehrenreich-on-her-endorsement-of-bernie-sanders

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This graphic shows a county-by-county breakdown of the 2016 presidential election results. The counties that went for Donald Trump are colored red and the counties that went for Hillary Clinton are colored blue.   Graphic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Texas closes hundreds of polling sites, making it harder for minorities to vote https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/02/texas-polling-sites-closures-voting

Dr. Arash Babaoff

Dr. Arash Babaoff recently retired from his career at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he worked in the Adolescent Medicine Division, Transport team and the Emergency Department since 1993.

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Believing that medicine is an international language that should be practiced as such, Dr. Babaoff began his volunteer work abroad in November of 2001. Since then, he has made volunteering a way of life.

In addition to the many medical missions with international organizations such as Operation Smile, which have taken him to such countries as the West Bank of Palestine, Nepal, Chechnya, China, Cambodia, Rwanda, Malawi, Morocco, Myanmar, Mali, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and many others, Dr. Babaoff is the co-founder of an NPO providing healthcare to the people in the Bolivar Province in Central Ecuador.
We met Dr. Babaoff at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where he was also a volunteer. We found his work so inspiring, we asked him to join us on Ecotones, which he graciously found time to do.

 

Michael T. Klare All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change

The United States military has been aware of the escalating dangers of catastrophic climate disruption longer than most other branches of government. In spite of Donald Trump’s quick rescinding of Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13653, issued in 2013, “Preparing the US for the Impact of Climate Change,”  the military has quietly continued to do just that.

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In his latest meticulously researched book, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, the Five College Professor Emeritus of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College and senior visitiing fellow at the Arms Control Association, Michael T. Klare, shows that the US military considers climate change a danger on several fronts at once.

With charts and maps he demonstrates that globally and nationally, we are vulnerable to increasing disruptions from climate change:

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 6.52.59 PM.pngA map identifying military bases that have reported problems from heavy flooding, extreme temperatures, prolonged drought, and other climate impacts. (from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)

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Increasing water scarcity as the river systems sourced in the glaciers of the Himalayan watershed is a major concern affecting nuclear armed nations China, India and Pakistan.  (from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)

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As the Arctic sea ice disappears the geopolitics of the region are in flux as never before in human history with potential of conflict among major powers such as Russia, China and the US. ((from All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change Metropolitan Books)

Articles relating to this interview:

Sea level rise accelerating along US coastline, scientists warn  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/03/sea-level-rise-accelerating-us-coastline-scientists-warn

When it comes to climate hypocrisy, Canada’s leaders have reached a new low   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/05/when-it-comes-to-climate-hypocrisy-canadas-leaders-have-reached-a-new-low

Antarctica’s glaciers are melting so fast, you can swim in them. In a Speedo.  https://grist.org/climate/antarcticas-glaciers-are-melting-so-fast-you-can-swim-in-them-in-a-speedo/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly&utm_content=antarcticas-glaciers-are-melting-so-fast-you-can-swim-in-them-in-a-speedo%3Futm_medium%3Demail

Climate crisis fills top five places of World Economic Forum’s risks report  https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/15/climate-crisis-environment-top-five-places-world-economic-forum-risks-report

Rising Seas: US Naval Academy, Maryland  https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/front-lines-rising-seas-us-naval-academy-maryland

Civilian deaths and atrocities escalate as chaos builds in Sahel   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/10/civilian-deaths-and-atrocities-escalate-as-chaos-builds-in-sahel

World War III’s Newest Battlefield — US Troops Head for the Far North    https://truthout.org/articles/world-war-iiis-newest-battlefield-us-troops-head-for-the-far-north/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=8e0d8072-5f15-4f61-b8e7-36a53b402106

The Doyle Family: Native American Children’s Toy Company & The Family Healing Center

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What happens when a family decides to devote themselves to creating a more healing world and gathers materials from nature and engage their own creativity to make toys for children by children? What if this is part of bringing into reality a vision of community healing the harm of generations of trauma experienced by First Nations people? What if the busy parents ask for assistance from a local church group, and a group of elder women joins in?

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In October of 2019, some of those Elders from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman, “Kaalas” in the language of the Crow, brought us to the home of Drs. of Education Megkian and Shane Doyle, where we were welcomed by four of their five children: 6 year old twins, Blake and Quanah, 9 year old Lillian, and 11 year old Ruby. They shared with us their vision of the Family Healing Center, and why they created The Native American Children’s Toy Company.

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Every 10th toy the children make is given to a Native American child currently in foster care with this letter: “…. No matter what happens, you will always have a home and a homeland with your people…”

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Megkian (center), Quanah (left) & Blake (right) write words in English & Crow on stones to create “Story Stones”. Players pull stones from a bag & then make up stories from them. Kaalla, Ita Kileen, in the background works on a hoop for “Sticks & Hoops”.

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Quanah Doyle works on a project. A bag of “Story Stones” are in front of him.

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Lilian (left) & Ruby (right) Megkian (back)

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From left to right: Ruby, Brooklyn, Kaalas Robyn Lauster & Kitty Donich (photo by Megkian Doyle)

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From left to right: Blake, Lily’s friend, Elizabeth, Lily, Ita Killeen, Kitty Donich in back. (photo by Megkian Doyle)

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Ruby (left) & friend, Brooklyn, (right)

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Lilian (left) & friend, Lia, play “Story Stones”.

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Quanah demonstrates “Stick & Hoop”

Unless otherwise credited, all photos courtesy of Kaala, Robyn Lauster. The family photo at top is by Arnica Spring Rae.

The children’s company email is: nativeamericanchildrenstoyco@gmail.com

This website features some of their original work: https://raisingplaces.org/www.raisingplaces.org/community/aashbacheeitche.html

https://raisingplaces.org/www.raisingplaces.org/the-latest/action-in-valley-of-the-chiefs.html

A recent article about the business incubator:  https://thesheridanpress.com/117000/lodge-grass-moves-ahead-with-planned-business-center/

Family Healing Center Narrative Description with Images 9.19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Ecology: Dr. Mary M. Clare & Gary Ferguson

On this edition of Ecotones, we hear from local Bozemanites, Dr. Mary M. Clare, Ph.D. and author, Gary Ferguson, about their work in evolving the concept of Full Ecology. How regaining our sense of kinship, relationship and interconnection, and being guided by balance, rhythm and harmony, we can survive and thrive the disruptions of our personal embedded environments, and the greater environments of which we are a natural part. Gary is The author of 26 books, the latest of which is THE EIGHT MASTER LESSONS OF NATURE: WHAT NATURE TEACHES US ABOUT LIVING WELL IN THE WORLD, published by Dutton.

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You can find out more about their work and Full Ecology here:  https://fullecology.com/

 

Les AuCoin CATCH AND RELEASE: An Oregon Life in Politics

 

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Les AuCoin represented Oregon’s 1st Congressional District from 1975 to 1992. At the age of 32, he was the first Democrat to do so since 1936. After serving 18 years, he gave up his seat to run for the US Senate against incumbent Republican Senator Bob Packwood, who although winning that race, resigned under threat of expulsion in 1995 after allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and assault of women emerged.

In this interview he shares his thoughts and experiences as one of the first cohort to be seated after Richard Nixon’s resignation under threat of impeachment in 1974, “The Watergate Babies.”
It was recorded on December 18,1019, as the US House of Representatives was impeaching Donald J. Trump .

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Susan Neiman Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

Born in the Civil Rights era of the Southern U.S., Susan Neiman has spent most of the last four decades in Berlin. She is the Director of The Einstein Forum. Her latest book is Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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Among the many things she reminds us of in her book is that the Nazi regime lasted only 12 years – from 1933 to 1945. Likewise, the period we call “Reconstruction” also lasted only 12 years from 1865 to 1877. She quotes her colleague, the late Tony Judt: the historian’s task (is) “to tell what is almost always an uncomfortable story and explain why the discomfort is part of the truth we need to live well and live properly. A well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves”.

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What can Americans learn from the Germans about confronting and moving on from our racist past toward more social justice? Susan Neiman has much to share of what she has learned from the Germans.

What can we learn of what Southerners have done and are doing to heal the wounds of our past? Susan has much to share of what she has learned in Mississippi and Alabama.

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Learning from the Germans: how we might atone for America’s evils   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/10/learning-from-the-germans-review-us-slavery

Mississippi Judge Allows Governor’s Race to Take Place Under Jim Crow-Era Rules   https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Mississippi-governor-s-race-taking-place-under-14803204.php

The First Black Mayor Of Talladega, Alabama, Is Poised To Push His City Into The Future   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tim-ragland-talladega-alabama-first-black-mayor_n_5db9dcd7e4b066da552b4718

School principal fired for saying ‘I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual event’   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/31/florida-high-school-principal-holocaust-fired

The Massacre That Spawned the Alt-Right       https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/11/03/greensboro-massacre-white-nationalism-klan-229873

Far-right AfD surges to second place in German state election    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/far-right-afd-surges-to-second-place-in-german-state-elections

What Holocaust Restitution Taught Me About Slavery Reparations     https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/27/slavery-reparations-holocaust-restitution-negotiations-229881

Make yourselves at home: the meaning of hospitality in a divided world    https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/oct/29/make-yourselves-at-home-the-meaning-of-hospitality-in-a-divided-world

‘We were indifferent to the horror’: Nazi camp inmate to give testimony at trial  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/indifferent-horror-nazi-reistance-fighter-bruno-dey-stutthof