Category Archives: Culture

Jan-Werner Müller – DEMOCRACY RULES: Liberty, Equality, Uncertainty

Jan-Werner Müller is a German political philosopher and historian of political ideas at Princeton University, where he has taught political theory and the history of political ideas since 2005.

His books, which have been translated into numerous languages, include What Is Populism? (2016), Contesting Democracy: Political Ideas in Twentieth Century Europe (2011), Constitutional Patriotism (2007) and others.

His latest book is Democracy Rules: Liberty, Equality, Uncertainly, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2021.

In addition, he writes opinion pieces for The Guardian, New York Times, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Le Monde, The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, as well as others.

This edition of Forthright Radio concludes with a poem by Dan Roberts, “Holy Card for Greta Number 3.” You can find out more about Dan’s work including The Shortwave Report, Rhythm Running River, and the award winning Youth Speaks Out, as well as his photography and paintings here: http://outfarpress.com/

Articles pertinent to this interview include:

Populism and the People https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v41/n10/jan-werner-mueller/populism-and-the-people

‘It’s chilling what is happening’: a rightwing backlash to Biden takes root in Republican states https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/19/joe-biden-republicans-polarization-us-politics-texas

They Rejected Democracy. They Lied. And They Spent July Fourth Calling Themselves Patriots. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/republicans-overturn-presidential-election-capitol-riot-july-4_n_60e4793ee4b0e01b6b233fc3

Enchaining democracy: The now-transnational project of the US corporate libertarian right https://mcusercontent.com/cca23739793ff131bae0a457f/files/7855428a-b505-762c-0032-c336e7bb5222/MacLean_The_Now_Transnational_Project.pdf

Guest column: Eroding public schools’ role as the great equalizer https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/guest_columnists/guest-column-eroding-public-schools-role-as-the-great-equalizer/article_aeff6b67-daef-5cd9-a797-fa93b0aff737.html

Athens: The Truth About Democracy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPnUK176AR0

Tamim Ansary GAMES WITHOUT RULES: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan

This edition of Forthright Radio from February 6, 2013, features an interview with Afghan-American author, Tamim Ansary, discussing his book, GAMES WITHOUT RULES: THE OFTEN INTERRUPTED HISTORY OF AFGHANISTAN, published by Public Affairs. As the United States and allies withdraw troops after 20 years of occupation and warfare in Afghanistan, it is well worth hearing again, because it speaks to the evolving situation there.

Tamim Ansary was born in Afghanistan in 1948, as a very young boy, he fell in love with history, and when Arnold Toynbee came through his hometown of Lashkargah, someone told him of a history loving 9 year old little bookworm, and he invited Tamim to tea. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tamim Ansary moved to the United States in 1964. He worked on textbooks for the Texas school system, out of which experience came his book, DESTINY DISRUPTED: A HISTORY OF THE WORLD THROUGH ISLAMIC EYES. Among his other books are WEST OF KABUL, EAST OF NEW YORK, as well as numerous books for children of different ages and reading levels. He has written a monthly column in Encarta. com, and has published essays in the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Alternet, TomPain.com, Edutopia, Parade, and the LA Times.

The Guardian published a piece by him on July 12, 2021 headlined:

History shows us that outsiders can never bring peace to Afghanistan https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/12/afghanistan-us-british-withdrawal-biden

In numbers: Life in Afghanistan after America leaves https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57767067

Armed Afghan women take to streets in show of defiance against Taliban https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/07/armed-afghan-women-take-to-streets-in-show-of-defiance-against-taliban

Mike Rothschild THE STORM UPON US: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult & Conspiracy Theory of Everything

Mike Rothschild is a journalist, researcher, and debunker of conspiracy theories.

His first print book, The World’s Worst Conspiracies, was published in January 2020 by Arcturus Publishing, London.

His work is cited in The New York Times, Snopes, Politifact, Salon, Vice, NPR, among many others. His latest book, THE STORM IS UPON US: HOW QANON BECAME A MOVEMENT, CULT, AND CONSPIRACY THEORY OF EVERYTHING, published by Melville House.
We spoke with Mike Rothschild on July 2, 2021.

Articles pertinent to the interview:

Why do conspiracy theories flourish? Because the truth is too hard to handle https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/01/edward-snowdon-conspiracy-theories-belief-powerlessness

INSIDE THE CAPITOL RIOT https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/30/us/jan-6-capitol-attack-takeaways.html

What drives ‘J-Anon’, QAnon’s Japanese counterpart? https://globalvoices.org/2021/01/13/what-drives-j-anon-qanons-japanese-counterpart/

Confronting the Threat of QAnon https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/29/books/review/mia-bloom-sophie-moskalenko-pastels-and-pedophiles.html

Andy Norman MENTAL IMMUNITY: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think

Andy Norman, Ph.D., directs the Humanism Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University and is the founder of CIRCE, the Cognitive Immunology Research Collaborative. His book, Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think, just published by HarperCollins, lays out the conceptual foundations of cognitive immunology—the emerging science of mental immune health.

We spoke with Andy Norman on June 14, 2021.

Mark R. Rank POORLY UNDERSTOOD: What America Gets Wrong About Poverty

Mark Rank is the Herbert S. Handley Professor in the Brown School of Social Work and The Department of Sociology at Washington University. Professor Rank is an expert on poverty studies and the author of notable books, such as One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All and Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes.

His most recent book, published in March of 2021 by Oxford University Press, is POORLY UNDERSTOOD: What America Gets Wrong About Poverty, which he co-wrote with Professors Lawrence M. Eppard and Heather E. Bullock. In it they identify and analyze common myths about poverty, compare poverty levels in the United States with other developed nations and propose ideas of how to reduce it.

We spoke with Professor Mark Rank on May 14, 2021.

You can find out more about his work and check out his poverty risk calculator by going to https://confrontingpoverty.org/

Articles pertinent to this interview:

Rich people actually do have trouble understanding what it’s like to be poor https://www.salon.com/2021/05/18/rich-people-actually-do-have-trouble-understanding-what-its-like-to-be-poor/

Poorest Families Could Miss Out On New Monthly Checks For Parents https://www.huffpost.com/entry/child-tax-credit-checks-poverty_n_60a41fb0e4b0909248099f82

Welfare fraud is actually rare, no matter what the myths and stereotypes say https://www.salon.com/2021/04/04/welfare-fraud-is-actually-rare-no-matter-what-the-myths-and-stereotypes-say/

More GOP-Run States Announce Cuts To Federal Unemployment Benefits https://www.huffpost.com/entry/missouri-unemployment-benefits-worker-shortage_n_609adc22e4b0909247fc2221

Rob Dunn DELICIOUS: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human

Returning to Forthright Radio is Rob Dunn, who is a biology Professor in the Department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University. He conducts a Public Science Lab, which engages citizen scientists around the world via the website, robdunnlab.com.

His latest book, DELICIOUS: THE EVOLUTION OF FLAVOR AND HOW IT MADE US HUMAN, has just been published by Princeton University Press, and even though that sounds super academic, Rob writes for the general audience in a humorous and easily understood way. He is the science teacher I wish I had had in high school. To be concise, Rob Dunn is fun. We spoke with him on April 5, 2021.

Links to articles/events relevant to this interview:

Politics & Prose event with Kim Wejendorp and Rob Dunn https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-ima-st_mig&ei=UTF-8&hsimp=yhs-st_mig&hspart=ima&p=%22Rob+Dunn%22&type=ff_q3000_A0IR7_set_bfrq#id=1&vid=1870fdb4e435f45ca537bd2bec62373c&action=click

Hunting for truffles in the Iraqi desert – in pictures https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2021/mar/26/hunting-for-truffles-in-the-iraqi-desert-in-pictures

The rice of the sea: how a tiny grain could change the way humanity eats https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/09/sea-rice-eelgrass-marine-grain-chef-angel-leon-marsh-climate-crisis

Thom Hartmann The Hidden History of American Oligarchy: Reclaiming Our Democracy from the Ruling Class

Thom Hartmann returned to Forthright Radio on 2/3/21 with the latest edition in his Hidden History series, THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF AMERICAN OLIGARCHY: Reclaiming Our Democracy from The Ruling Class, just released on February 2nd by Barrett-Koehler Publishing.

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ― Issac Asimov

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” Voltaire.

Thomas Paine said it best: “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”

Richard Kreitner BREAK IT UP: Secession, Division and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union

Within an hour of this interview with Richard Kreitner on January 6, 2021, a mob left a rally in front of the White House in which Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, Jr. had exhorted them to march down Pennsylvania Ave to the Capitol building and fight.

Kreitner had noted that the world was astounded by the peaceful transfer of power from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1800. Now, 220 years later, for the first time in U.S. history we have NOT had a peaceful transfer of power.

His book, BREAK IT UP: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union, documents how we have been divided from the very beginning of our republic, and his analysis affords a clearer perspective of our current situation.

Three weeks to the day after the death of the last Confederate widow (shown above), insurgents paraded their Battle Flag throughout the nation’s Capitol, which Secessionists had been unable to do during their insurrection in the 1860s.

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

Articles Cited in this interview:

Now Is Not the Time for Unity https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/biden-unity-history/

Chaos as Pennsylvania GOP state senators refuse to seat Democrat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoF4iCoTZb4

Last Known Widow Of Civil War Veteran Dies At 101 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/civil-war-veteran-widow-helen-jackson_n_5ff51131c5b6ea7351c66821

Trump won’t attend Biden’s inauguration: Why that’s ominous after his Capitol siege https://www.salon.com/2021/01/11/trump-wont-attend-bidens-inauguration-why-thats-ominous-after-his-capitol-siege/

At least 12 GOP senators to challenge Biden’s win https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/02/ted-cruz-electoral-college-challenge-453430

Rosendale says he’ll oppose certification of some electors https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ap_news/montana/rosendale-says-hell-oppose-certification-of-some-electors/article_42f0b298-c022-5d91-b855-b49770a5518e.html

Texas congressman suggests ‘violence in the streets’ after judge rejects bid to force Pence to overturn Biden’s win https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ap_news/politics/texas-congressman-suggests-violence-in-the-streets-after-judge-rejects-bid-to-force-pence-to/article_1e6dc8df-da07-5cf4-96b5-a3183c702a31.html#tncms-source=infinity-scroll-summary-siderail-latest

Sasse Slams GOP Effort to Challenge ElectionResults as a ‘Dangerous Ploy’ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/31/us/politics/ben-sasse-election-results.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Ben Sasse calls fellow Republicans “institutional arsonists” for Electoral College stunt https://www.salon.com/2020/12/31/ben-sasse-calls-fellow-gop-sen-josh-hawley-an-institutional-arsonists-for-electoral-college-stunt/

Joint Statement from Senators Cruz, Johnson, Lankford, Daines, Kennedy, Blackburn, Braun, Senators-Elect Lummis, Marshall, Hagerty, Tuberville https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=5541

Trump’s Republicans have dumped Lincoln – they’re the Confederacy now https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/04/trump-republicans-electoral-college-sedition-secession-lincoln-confederacy

Trump’s phone call to Brad Raffensperger: six key points https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/04/trumps-phone-call-to-brad-raffensperger-five-key-points

Americans’ acceptance of Trump’s behavior will be his vilest legacy https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/26/americans-acceptance-of-trumps-behavior-will-be-his-vilest-legacy

Matthew Rozsa: How the MAGA Crowd Is Motivated by Aesthetics, Not Ideas

Matthew Rozsa is a political blogger and staff-writer for Salon.com. Since 2012, In addition to covering politics, he has written about American history, social justice causes, popular culture, and the concerns of the high-functioning autistic community. Toward that end, he appeared on Sesame Street, where he interviewed Elmo and Julia, a character who also has autism.

At a time when American democracy is weathering grave challenges to the peaceful transfer of government, where the constitutionally required meetings of the Electoral College in numerous states had to be conducted in secret, due to credible threats of violence by those seeking to overturn the certified votes, Matthew Rozsa has a lot to say of what is happening and how it has come to this.

At the end, high school Head Soccer Coach, Hunter Terry, reads his Letter to the Editor, “Our ‘American values’ include knowing how to lose,” published in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle on December 16, 2020,

Head Soccer Coach, Hunter Terry

Articles cited in this interview include:

Trump the fascist artist: How the MAGA crowd is motivated by aesthetics, not ideas https://www.salon.com/2020/12/05/trump-the-fascist-artist-how-the-maga-crowd-is-motivated-by-aesthetics-not-ideas/

Why the 2020 election looks a lot like 1876 — with one crucial difference https://www.salon.com/2020/11/07/why-the-2020-election-looks-a-lot-like-1876-with-one-crucial-difference/

It’s not the first time that an outgoing president refused to work with an incoming one https://www.salon.com/2020/11/29/its-not-the-first-time-that-an-outgoing-president-refused-to-work-with-an-incoming-one/

There are economic reasons that Trump’s coup attempt won’t work, experts say https://www.salon.com/2020/11/15/there-are-economic-reasons-that-trumps-coup-attempt-wont-work-experts-say/

The internet has become captured by the right. The Gravel Institute is trying to take it back https://www.salon.com/2020/11/29/the-internet-has-become-captured-by-the-right-the-gravel-institute-is-trying-to-take-it-back/

Conservative women often don’t perceive sexism as a social problem. Here’s why https://www.salon.com/2020/11/28/conservative-women-often-dont-perceive-sexism-as-a-social-problem-heres-why

Biden’s economic adviser picks are underwhelming the left, to say the least https://www.salon.com/2020/12/07/biden-neoliberal-picks-for-economic-advisers-neera-tanden-brian-deese/

Rebekah Jones, Florida’s COVID-19 whistleblower, says Gov. DeSantis has health officials “terrified” https://www.salon.com/2020/12/11/rebekah-jones-floridas-covid-19-whistleblower-says-gov-desantis-has-health-officials-terrified/

Trump Has Never Believed in Democracy https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/13/opinion/donald-trump-election.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Our ‘American values’ include knowing how to lose https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/letters_to_editor/our-american-values-include-knowing-how-to-lose/article_af157cc7-3d47-5716-bccd-29acb6e9edb6.html

Donald Trump and the Aesthetics of Fascism https://inthesetimes.com/article/donald-trump-and-the-aesthetics-of-fascism

Trump won’t attend Biden’s inauguration: Why that’s ominous after his Capitol siege https://www.salon.com/2021/01/11/trump-wont-attend-bidens-inauguration-why-thats-ominous-after-his-capitol-siege/

Thom Hartmann MONOPOLIES: How Big Business Destroyed the American Dream

The latest in Thom Hartmann’s Hidden History series has just been released by Barret-Koehler Publishing, THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES: HOW BIG BUSINESS DESTROYED THE AMERICAN DREAM. In addition to his daily 3 hour radio program, he somehow finds the time and energy to write the Hidden History Series, and he has been generous enough to be our guest on Forthright Radio each time one is published.

Here’s what Ralph Nader writes in the forward to THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES: HOW BIG BUSINESS DESTROYED THE AMERICAN DREAM:

”This is the most important, dynamic book – small as it is – on the cancers of monopoly by giant corporations written in our generation. he goes on “Because he is by far the most erudite longtime national radio talk show host, he has had an uncanny sense of retrieving critical segments of American history, ignored by historians, regarding the suspicion and caution our forbears had about this artificial entity called the large corporation as it became more immune and more privileged than real human beings……” he goes on from there, but we’ll just let the Thom speak and you can hear for yourself why Nader has such high appreciation of the man.

You can find the past shows on the Forthright.media archives.