Category Archives: Culture

Beth Ann Kennedy Bozeman Film Celebration/BZN International Film Festival

On August 14, 2020, we spoke with Beth Ann Kennedy, artistic/managing director of the Bozeman Film Celebration, about how she came to create the BZN International Film Festival, whose first season was in June of 2018. Her training in speech, music, dance and the dramatic arts, from the early 1970s, as well as her decades of experience acting, directing and producing in theater and film, contributed to her success in bringing to Bozeman what has become an annual Film Festival. Her excellent interpersonal skills and work with business and international government leaders, educators, entertainment celebrities, musicians, choreographers and thousands of American youths, prepared her for the gargantuan effort of coordinating the many people and jobs required in bringing a film festival into reality. After only its second year, the BZN International Film Festival was listed by Film Freeway among the top 100 festivals in the world. We asked her about her experiences, challenges, and goals over the past three years, and about re-creating the festival during a pandemic. Our conversation in a garden includes commentary from the neighborhood birds and dogs.

Members of the 2019 BZN International Film Festival Staff

Some of the 2020 BZN International Film Festival Staff, dutifully socially distancing. Beth Ann Kennedy in white top at center.

Martha S. Jones VANGUARD: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

This special edition of Forthright Radio for August 26, 2020, celebrates the Centennial of the signing of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, after the very long, very hard struggle by women of different races and backgrounds to win the right to vote.

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As our guest, Professor Martha S. Jones reminds us, this struggle is not over.

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Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian, whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy.

Professor Jones is the author most recently of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, which will be published by Basic Books on September 8, 2020.

Her other books include Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), winner of numerous prestigious awards, and All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900, and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women.

Professor Jones currently serves as a Co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and on the Executive Board of the Society of American Historians.

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Other articles relating to the struggle for suffrage or pertinent to this interview include:

Black women in politics are no longer a ‘first.’ They are a force.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/13/black-women-politics-are-no-longer-first-they-are-force/?hpid=hp_save-opinions-float-right-4-0_opinion-card-a-right%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

How Native American Women Inspired the Women’s Rights Movement   https://www.womensvote100.org/the-suff-buffs-blog/2020/4/17/how-native-american-women-inspired-the-womens-rights-movement

In Women’s Suffrage, a Spotlight for Unsung Pioneers  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/13/insider/suffrage-anniversary.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Reader%20Center

20 Suffragists To Know for 2020   https://www.nps.gov/subjects/womenshistory/20-for-2020.htm

It’s Time The ‘Truth Be Told’ About Black Women’s Leadership In The Fight For The Vote  https://www.forbes.com/sites/marianneschnall/2020/08/05/its-time-the-truth-be-told-about-black-womens-leadership-in-the-fight-for-the-vote/#7342dc855915

Sojourner Truth  https://www.nps.gov/people/sojourner-truth.htm

Ida B. Wells  https://www.nps.gov/people/idabwells.htm

Nannie Helen Burroughs  https://www.nps.gov/people/nannie-helen-burroughs.htm

Mary McLeod Bethune  https://www.nps.gov/people/mary-mcleod-bethune.htm

Septima Poinsette Clark      https://www.nps.gov/people/septimapoinsetteclark.htm

Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee  https://www.nps.gov/people/mabel-lee.htm

Tye Leung Schulze  https://www.nps.gov/people/tye-leung-schulze.htm

Zitkala-Ša (Red Bird / Gertrude Simmons Bonnin)    https://www.nps.gov/people/zitkala-sa.htm

Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin    https://www.nps.gov/people/marie-louise-bottineau-baldwin.htm

Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett     https://www.nps.gov/people/wilhelmina-kekelaokalaninui-widemann-dowsett.htm

Rose Schneiderman  https://www.nps.gov/people/rose-schneiderman.htm

The 19th Amendment: An Important Milestone in an Unfinished Journey  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/15/opinion/19th-amendment-centennial-suffrage.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

The 19th amendment is a reminder that the right to vote is unfinished business     https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/18/the-19th-amendment-is-a-reminder-that-the-right-to-vote-is-unfinished-business

The Women Who Fought Against the Vote   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/us/anti-suffrage-movement-vote.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

In 1920, Native Women Sought the Vote. Here’s What’s Next.   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/31/style/19th-amendment-native-womens-suffrage.html?searchResultPosition=1

Before Kamala Harris, There Was Charlotta Bass       https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/04/obituaries/charlotta-bass-vice-president-overlooked.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

What ‘The New York Times’ Won’t Tell You About Woman Suffrage   https://www.thenation.com/article/society/new-york-times-suffrage/

 

 

 

 

The Great American Lie – Soraya Chemaly

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 2.51.47 PM.pngEmmy Award-winning filmmaker, and First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s newest documentary is The Great American Lie. The film exposes social and economic immobility, viewed through the lens of our gendered values.

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After the response to her first film, Miss Representation, which came out in 2011, Jennifer Siebel Newsom created The Representation Project.

Our guest today on Radio Goes to the Movies is Soraya Chemaly. She is the Executive Director of The Representation Project, which has produced two more feature length documentaries examining the harmful impacts of the role gender exerts in our culture for both males and females, as shown in the second film, The Mask You Live In.

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The third film, which is being screened at the 2020 BZN International Film Festival, is THE GREAT AMERICAN LIE.
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer, activist, and media critic. She writes and speaks frequently on topics related to social justice, free speech, violence, and technology. The former director and co-founder of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, she has long been committed to expanding women’s civic and political participation and the power of socially transformative storytelling.

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Her work as a writer, activist, and organizer is featured widely in media, books, and academic research. She is the author of the seminal book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.
Soraya currently serves on the national boards of the Women’s Media Center, Women in Journalism, and the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project. We spoke with her on August 12, 2020.

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Here is the link to the article cited in the interview:

Treatment of vice presidential contenders highlights struggle to overcome patriarchal status quo By Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Soraya Chemaly   https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Treatment-of-VP-contenders-shows-struggle-to-15465771.php

 

 

Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs – Lena Schiffer & Brian Kassay

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Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs are a relentlessly energetic bluegrass-Americana band based in Bozeman, MT.

Combining soaring four-part harmony and rock ‘n’ roll drive, they get people dancing to original tunes and covers alike.

With a combined 30 years of experience in blues, rock, country, metal, folk, and indie bands, the members found their common ground in bluegrass in 2013, bringing a unique sound to the folk scene.
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This edition of Ecotones includes four of their songs, three of which are from their live album, Live at the Filling Station.
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You can find out much more about them on their website:

http://www.thebird-dogs.com/

 

Henry Giroux

On the day that Henry Giroux finished his latest book, Race, Politics, and Pandemic Pedagogy: Education in a Time of Crisis, he graciously joined us for an interview. It will be published in 2021.

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Henry Giroux is Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy and Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest at McMaster University.

He has written more than 56 books since his first book, Ideology, Culture and the Process of Schooling was published in 1981, and he has been generous with his time over the years as he published books such as Zombie Politics in the Age of Casino Capitalism; Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories, and the Culture of Cruelty; The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine; Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle; America at War with Itself; American Nightmare: The Challenge of US Authoritarianism; and The Terror of the Unforeseen.

We spoke with him on August 2, 2020 about the multiple crises with which we are faced.

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Articles referenced in the interview:

President Trump, White Supremacy and the Confederate Flag  https://billmoyers.com/story/president-trump-white-supremacy-and-the-confederate-flag/

The Ugly Terror of a Fascist Abyss Lurks in the Background of This Pandemic         https://truthout.org/articles/the-ugly-terror-of-a-fascist-abyss-lurks-in-the-background-of-this-pandemic/

Racist violence part of a plague of inequity    https://www.thespec.com/opinion/contributors/2020/07/01/racist-violence-part-of-a-plague-of-inequity.html

Bill Barr and the Ghost of Fascism      https://billmoyers.com/story/bill-barr-and-the-ghost-of-fascism/

The plague of inequality in the age of pandemic: This uprising is about more than George Floyd    https://www.salon.com/2020/06/20/the-plague-of-inequality-in-the-age-of-pandemic-this-uprising-is-about-more-than-george-floyd/?fbclid=IwAR05LrIayPmc8xYXQJaifT_nmSh4r3AzdLW2J3yL3Jm-Y_ODuM9Aic0g_UU

Racist Violence Can’t Be Separated From the Violence of Neoliberal Capitalism    https://truthout.org/articles/racist-violence-cant-be-separated-from-the-violence-of-neoliberal-capitalism/

Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence   https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/01/racial-domestic-terrorism-and-the-legacy-of-state-violence/

Criminogenic Politics as a Form of Psychosis in the Age of Trump  https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/26/criminogenic-politics-as-a-form-of-psychosis/

Why it is dangerous to use the language of war about COVID-19  https://www.thespec.com/opinion/contributors/2020/05/20/why-it-is-dangerous-to-use-the-language-of-war-about-covid-19.html

Militarization in a Time of Pandemic Crisis      https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/24/militarization-in-a-time-of-pandemic-crisis/?fbclid=IwAR0_lngGcbrFRs5L7lKN62Qpt8BJ95mPmJ3EpazssGhQmrMbxz5lOdzG05c

There’s more than one pandemic ravaging our embattled society   https://www.thespec.com/opinion/contributors/2020/04/21/theres-more-than-one-pandemic-ravaging-our-embattled-society.html

The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Exposing the Plague of Neoliberalism     https://truthout.org/articles/the-covid-19-pandemic-is-exposing-the-plague-of-neoliberalism/

Trump Is Now Openly Defying the Supreme Court    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/daca-donald-trump-supreme-court.html?via=taps_bottom

Removing monuments is the easy part. We must make America a real democracy https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/01/us-real-democracy-voting-rights-healthcare-schools

Tom Cotton calls slavery ‘necessary evil’ in attack on New York Times’ 1619 Project     https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/26/tom-cotton-slavery-necessary-evil-1619-project-new-york-times

Playing War While Dressed to Kill in Portland    https://www.thenation.com/article/society/federal-agents-portland-military/

Donald Trump Is Writing A Terrifying New Chapter In The History Of Political Repression        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-portland-american-repression_n_5f231c9cc5b68fbfc8809a1d

Trump badly miscalculated in Portland – and even he knows it  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/31/trump-portland-antifa-voters-miscalculated

‘These are his people’: inside the elite border patrol unit Trump sent to Portland           https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/27/trump-border-patrol-troops-portland-bortac

Anti-fascists linked to zero murders in the US in 25 years  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/27/us-rightwing-extremists-attacks-deaths-database-leftwing-antifa

Texas hospital forced to set up ‘death panel’ as Covid-19 cases surge    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/26/covid-19-death-panels-starr-county-hospital-texas

‘Disturbing—and Dangerous’: Journalists Denounce Judge’s Order for Outlets to Turn Over Protest Footage to Seattle Police    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/24/disturbing-and-dangerous-journalists-denounce-judges-order-outlets-turn-over-protest?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

God Brought Us Trump To Show Us Our Weaknesses    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQmlytREqXk

Moms   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwaklEmDn_0

Jennifer Mercieca – DEMAGOGUE FOR PRESIDENT: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump

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Jennifer Mercieca is an author, researcher, historian of American political rhetoric and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University, Dr. Jennifer Mercieca. She writes about American political discourse, especially as it relates to citizenship, democracy and the presidency. Her previous books are FOUNDING FICTIONS and THE RHETORIC OF HEROIC EXPECTATIONS: ESTABLISHING THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY. Her latest book, DEMAGOGUE FOR PRESIDENT: THE RHETORICAL GENIUS OF DONALD TRUMP will be published July 9, 2020 by Texas A&M University Press.

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“Historical levels of polarization, a disaffected and frustrated electorate, and widespread distrust of government, the news media, and traditional political leadership set the stage in 2016 for an unexpected, unlikely, and unprecedented presidential contest.

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Donald Trump’s campaign speeches and other rhetoric seemed on the surface to be simplistic, repetitive and disorganized to many. As DEMAGOGUE FOR PRESIDENT shows, Trump’s campaign strategy was anything but simple.

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Articles referred to or pertinent to the interview:

‘Trump thought I was a secretary’: Fiona Hill on the president, Putin and populism    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/12/fiona-hill-trump-putin-populism-interview

Trump stokes division with racism and rage – and the American oligarchy purrs    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/14/donald-trump-racism-american-oligarchy

The Psychopath in Chief  https://gen.medium.com/the-psychopath-in-chief-aa10ab2165d9

Analysis: Why QAnon supporters are winning congressional primaries  https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Analysis-Why-QAnon-supporters-are-winning-15337881.php

‘We’re thinking landslide’: Beyond D.C., GOP officials see Trump on glide path to reelection    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/15/trump-glide-reelection-republican-officials-316457

Why Does Trump Lie?    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/11/opinion/trump-lies.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Trump Has Made Alternative Facts a Way of Life     https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/13/opinion/trump-has-made-alternative-facts-a-way-of-life.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

The Debate Over the Word Fascism Takes a New Turn  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/10/books/fascism-debate-donald-trump.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Books

It’s Trump’s Revolution     https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/13/opinion/sunday/trump-presidency.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Trump takes note as the far right lobbies for violent crackdown on peaceful protests    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/07/trump-protests-notes-far-right-crackdown-peaceful-protesters

‘How did we get here?’: Trump has normalised mayhem and the US is paying the price       https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/02/donald-trump-coronavirus-george-floyd-normalized

Daniel Q. Gillion THE LOUD MINORITY; Why Protests Matter in American Democray

Daniel Q. Gillian is Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests focus on racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, political institutions, public policy and the American Presidency.

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Professor Gillion’s first book, The Political Power of Protest: Minority Activism and Shifts in Public Policy, demonstrates the influential role of protest to garner a response from each branch of the federal government, highlighting protest actions as another form of constituent sentiment that should be considered alongside public opinion and voting behavior.

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His book, Governing with Words: The Political Dialogue on Race, Public Policy, and Inequality in America, demonstrates that historically, the political dialogue on race offered by presidents and congressional members alters the public policy process and shapes societal and cultural norms to improve the lives of racial and ethnic minorities, illustrating that mere words are a powerful tool for combating racial inequality in America.

Professor Gillian’s most recent book is THE LOUD MINORITY: WHY PROTESTS MATTER IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, just published by Princeton University Press. It comes at a time when many of us have been confined to our homes for many weeks during this global pandemic and others protest, disregarding social distancing precautions and carrying rapid fire weapons to state capitals, protesting government stay at home orders. We asked him about this and more.

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Here are links to some of the articles referenced in this interview:

How the Kent State massacre marked the start of America’s polarization      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/04/kent-state-massacre-marked-start-of-americas-polarization

Armed protesters demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/30/michigan-protests-coronavirus-lockdown-armed-capitol

Protests sweep California as governor promises changes to lockdown    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/01/california-coronavirus-protests-huntington-beach-sacramento

‘Are you a spoiler?’: why critics fear Amash’s Libertarian bid may ensure a Trump win      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/03/justin-amash-libertarian-2020-election-trump-win-critics

The Anti-Mask League: lockdown protests draw parallels to 1918 pandemic  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/29/coronavirus-pandemic-1918-protests-california

How a tea party-linked group plans to turbocharge lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/tea-party-lockdown-coronavirus-206083

Trump allies jump in to help organize lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/21/trump-allies-help-organize-lockdown-protests-198426

What the anti-stay-at-home protests are really about        https://www.vox.com/2020/4/19/21225195/stay-at-home-protests-trump-tea-party-reelection

America doesn’t want another Tea Party    https://www.vox.com/2020/4/20/21225016/protests-stay-at-home-orders-trump-conservative-group-michigan

The ‘anti-lockdown’ protests are about more than just quarantines   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2020/apr/21/anti-lockdown-protests-trump-right-wing

Alan Hirsch A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (and how to prevent the next one)

Alan Hirsch’s latest book, A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (AND HOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT ONE), has just been published by City Lights Books.

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Alan Hirsch is an Instructor in the Humanities and Chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College. He is the author of a number of other books including Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future and For the People: What the Constitution Really Says About Your Rights (coauthored with Akhil Amar). He received his law degree from Yale Law School. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Newsday, and the Village Voice. He also serves as a trial consultant and expert witness on interrogations and criminal confessions, testifying around the nation.

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He focuses on four presidential election crises that left the nation with no clear winner: those in the years 1800, 1824 & 1876, 2000, and he notes that in twelve elections, fully 20% of all presidential elections, were too close for comfort.

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Articles pertinent to this interview:

Virginia Makes Election Day A Holiday In Wave Of New Voting Rights Laws     https://www.huffpost.com/entry/virginia-election-day-holiday-voting-rights-laws_n_5e93a7bec5b6765e95633e2f

Kentucky just made it harder to vote during a pandemic   https://www.vox.com/2020/4/15/21222084/kentucky-voter-id-coronavirus-pandemic

The US presidential election is frozen in time – can it survive?      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/04/us-2020-presidential-election-coronavirus-future

Voting during a pandemic? Here’s what happened in 1918     https://patriots4health.com/2020/04/voting-during-a-pandemic-heres-what-happened-in-1918/

What Happens If A Presidential Nominee Can No Longer Run For Office?    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-happens-if-a-presidential-nominee-can-no-longer-run-for-office/

What Happens If A Nominee Dies Before The General Election?    https://fivethirtyeight.com/videos/what-happens-if-a-nominee-dies-before-the-general-election/

‘The Nightmare Scenario’: How Coronavirus Could Make the 2020 Vote a Disaster    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/04/28/2020-election-coronavirus-disaster-impact-215559

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/