Category Archives: Culture

David Quammen- The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life

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I am delighted to welcome back to Forthright Radio, award winning author, journalist, David Quammen. He was our guest 5 years ago after his book, SPILLOVER: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic was published. His latest book, THE TANGLED TREE: A RADICAL NEW HISTORY OF LIFE, published by Simon & Schuster came out a couple of weeks ago. And lest you think this book, being about science – the research and theorizing –  isn’t something you’d be interested in – let me tell you, this recent research reveals just how bacteria become resistant to our most potent antibiotics so quickly and fatally to so many, or how Horizontal Gene Transfer not only allowed for evolution, but may explain how certain cancers develop – as well as questioning our most basic concepts of ourselves as a species and individuals. And this puts a new meaning on “Tree Huggers” and “Tree Cutters”.

David Quammen has won many awards for his books and magazine articles, including from the National Association of Science Writers, and the Society of Biology (UK) Book Award in General Biology. His work with National Geographic is particularly noteworthy, and has taken him on myriad, lengthy difficult treks, which distinguish him from most authors, such as chronicling J. Michael Fay’s 2,000 mile survey hike through the forests of Central Africa, The Megatransect.

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Charles Darwin speculated on the evolution of life as a tree, with “I think” written on top.

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A popular 20th century version based on Darwin’s idea of a tree of evolution. At least this one, doesn’t place humans explicitly above other species.

In the 20th century there has been  a tumultuous debate as to how best to characterize the concept of evolution. Is it a tree? Is it a web? Is it a net? A mosaic?

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In David Quammen’s book, Carl Woese’s work was crucial to the debate, pioneering molecular phylogenetics, using (at the time) dangerous, innovative techniques to study RNA as a basis to determine species and evolution.

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After demonstrating that there was a third “kingdom”, the Archaea,  different from Bacteria, Carl Woese proposed a new Tree of Life pictured above.d997044659f3d0b0579a70728d1553e7.jpgLynnMargulis, married Carl Sagan when she was 19. After bearing 2 sons with him, she moved on. She took her second husband’s name, Margulis while making her revolutionary mark on biology. After juggling the three jobs of scientist, mother and wife, she decided to forego that last job, wife.
Her work synthesized earlier ideas, which she coined, endosymbiosis, that organelles, crucial to more complex life forms – including humans – were based on “infective heredity” by bacteria, that established essential organelles such as mitochondria, chloroplasts and centrioles.

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Larry Hancock- Creating Chaos: Covert Political Warfare from Truman to Putin Carey Gillam – $289 Million Monsanto Glyphosate/Cancer Damages Verdict

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In the first sement, we speak with researcher and author, Larry Hancock, about his very timely book, CREATING CHAOS: COVERT POLITICAL WARFARE FROM TRUMAN TO PUTIN. In our second segment, we welcomed back researcher and award winning author of the also very timely book, WHITE WASH: THE STORY OF A WEED KILLER, CANCER, AND THE CORRUPTION OF SCIENCE, Carey Gillam, to get her impressions of the historic jury verdict on August 10, 2018 ordering Monsanto to pay $289 million dollars to former Benicia School District groundskeeper, Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, for it’s negligence and acting with malice or oppression regarding their herbicides, Roundup Pro and Ranger Pro.

Following service in the U.S. Air Force, Larry Hancock’s career in computer/communications and technology marketing allowed him to become a consultant on strategic analysis and planning studies. With seven books in print, Larry Hancock’s most recent works include an exploration of long term patterns in covert action and deniable warfare (Shadow Warfare), the effectiveness of national command authority and command and control practices (Surprise Attack) and (together with Stuart Wexler) the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (The Awful Grace of God: Religious Terrorism, White Supremacy, and the Unsolved Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.). His latest book, CREATING CHAOS: COVERT POLITICAL WARFARE FROM TRUMAN TO PUTIN, published by OR Books.  Our interview ends at 32:23.

http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/creating-chaos-by-larry-hancock/?utm_source=ForthrightRadio&utm_medium=interview&utm_campaign=Chaos

Our interview with Carey Gillam begins at 32:24.

Carey Gillam is a veteran journalist, researcher and author, who has more than twenty-five years’ experience in the news industry covering corporate America. Since 1998, Carey Gillam’s work has focused on digging into the big business of food and agriculture. As a former senior correspondent for Reuters’ international news service, and a current contract researcher and freelance writer, she specializes in finding the story behind the spin–uncovering both the risks and rewards of the evolving new age of agriculture. Her areas of expertise include biotech crop technology, agrichemicals and pesticide product development, and the environmental impacts of American food production. She is currently Research Director for the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know. Her book, WHITE WASH: THE STORY OF A WEED KILLER, CANCER, AND THE CORRUPTION OF SCIENCE, is published by Island Press.

She has been awarded this year’s Rachel Carson Book Award by the Society of Environmental Journalists, as well as the 2018 Independent Book Publishers Award.

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Dewayne “Lee” Johnson and his sons

The interview we did on March 21, 2018 can be heard here:    https://forthright.media/2018/08/11/carey-gillam-white-wash-the-story-of-a-weed-killer-cancer-the-corruption-of-science/

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Dewayne Johnson reacts to the verdict at the superior court of California in San Francisco. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Articles cited in this interview can be found here:

One man’s suffering exposed Monsanto’s secrets to the world  https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/11/one-mans-suffering-exposed-monsantos-secrets-to-the-world

Bayer Takes the Hit After Monsanto Loses Roundup Cancer Trial https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/bayer-takes-hit-after-monsanto-loses-roundup-cancer-trial

 

Bayer Shares Plunge After Monsanto Weed Killer Ruling – WSJ

 

Matthew N. Lyons – Insurgent Supremacists: The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State & Empire

As we approach a year since the “Unite the Right” rally took place in Charlottesville, VA,  Truthout chose as their Progressive Pick, Insurgent Supremacists: The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State and Empire , by our guest, Matthew N. Lyons, in which he takes issue with the notion that the far right is a united force.

Matthew N. Lyons has been writing about right-wing politics for over 25 years. His work focuses on the interplay between right-wing movements and systems of oppression, and responses to these movements by leftists, liberals, and the state. He writes regularly for the antifascist blog Three Way Fight, and his work has also appeared in the Guardian, New Politics, and other publications.

He contributed the title essay to the book Ctrl-Alt-Delete: An Antifascist Report on the Alternative Right . He is coauthor with Chip Berlet of Right-Wing Populism in America , and author of Arier, Patriarchen, Übermenschen: die extreme Rechte in den USA (Aryans, Patriarchs, Supermen: The Far Right in the USA [Unrast Verlag, 2015]).

Insurgent Supremacists: The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State and Empire is published by PM Press.

 

George Monbiot – OUT OF THE WRECKAGE: A NEW POLITICS FOR AN AGE OF CRISIS

In his latest book, OUT OF THE WRECKAGE: A NEW POLITICS FOR AN AGE OF CRISIS, and drawing from many decades of a very interesting life in many different parts of the world, George Monbiot explores the question, how can we rebuild our society, outlining how both democracy and economic life can be radically reorganized from the bottom up.

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george-monbiot-409985.jpgThese are some of his articles cited in this interview:

How a violent land seizure story led to my ‘death’ in Brazil  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/31/land-seizure-death-brazil-george-monbiot

America’s new revolutionaries show how the left can win  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/11/america-left-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-new-york-primary

Donald Trump was right. The rest of the G7 were wrong    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/13/trump-nafta-g7-sunset-clause-trade-agreement

I have prostate cancer. But I am happy   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/13/prostate-cancer-happy-diagnosis-operation

Through my cancer, I have found the key to a good life     https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/08/my-prostate-cancer-surgery-key-to-good-life

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Henry Giroux – American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism

In this edition of Forthright Radio, originally broadcast on June 6, 2018, our guest is McMaster University Professor, Henry Giroux, who has been our guest numerous times over the years. His latest book, which just came out from City Lights Publishing, is American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism. It is A far-ranging critique of the rise of authoritarianism and white nationalism in the US, and the consequences for democracy.

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Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest. He is a prolific writer of books, sometimes more than one a year, and articles which appear in numerous online and print publications, as well as scholarly journals. His books include: AMERICA AT WAR WITH ITSELF; DISPOSABLE FUTURES: VIOLENCE IN THE AGE OF SPECTACLE; Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror (Paradigm, 2010); Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, THE VIOLENCE OF ORGANIZED FORGETTING and many, many others.

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The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.” Hannah Arendt

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Mark Gordon – AWAKENING IN TAOS

In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, Mark Gordon discusses how he came to make this biographical documentary of Mabel Dodge Luhan.  It will be screening at the BZN International Film Festival on June 9 at the Ellen Theater at 6:15 p.m. He will be attending.

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Born in Buffalo, New York, Mabel Dodge Luhan was a woman unique to her time. Her influence extended into the world of art, music, literature and activism for social change. In her late 30’s she traveled to Taos and was embraced the Taos Pueblo Indians in a way that seized the attention of the artistic and literary world.

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It also the story of a great love between Mabel and Tony Luhan, with whom she organized to protect the ancestral lands and sacred sites of his people, the Tewa Indians of Taos Pueblo.

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She lured progressive thinkers and artists, including D.H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Willa Cather, Dorothy Brett, Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe and others to the remote town to attend her salons. Many of these visitors stayed for periods of time and several remained their entire lives. Mabel’s home and salons made an extraordinary contribution to the culture of Taos County and the State of New Mexico. She helped put Taos on the world map as a destination of distinctive beauty, a Mecca for artists.

 

 

 

Christi Cooper: YOUTH V GOV

In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, we speak with Bozeman resident, Christi Cooper, about her years of work documenting the increasingly powerful movement of young people, who are challenging the U.S. Government and the fossil fuel industry for violation of their Constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment to Life, Liberty and Property.Our-Childrens-Trust-Lawsuit-889x610.jpg

Her film, a work in progress, YOUTH V. GOV, screens at the BZN International Film Festival on June 9 at the Willson Auditorium at 7:45 p.m.  Victoria Barrett, a 19-year-old college student from White Plains, NY, who is one of 21 youth plaintiffs suing the U.S. government in the landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit, will also be attending for a discussion afterwards.

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In this groundbreaking civil rights lawsuit, guided by Julia Olson, their lead attorney, 21 American youth take the US government and the fossil fuel industry to court for creating a climate emergency that threatens the future of the youngest generations.

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This is not the typical climate change film. YOUTH V GOV brings a new perspective not yet explored. And in the end, YOUTH V GOV will activate youth, millennials, and adults to engage as citizens and to lean heavily on the pillars of democracy that we rely on for the future of our country and the world.