Category Archives: economics

Christopher Ketcham – This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption Are Ruining the American West

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Christopher Ketcham has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years. His articles have been published in Harper’s, CounterPunch, National Geographic, Hustler, Penthouse, the New York Times, Pacific Standard, Sierra, Earth Island Journal, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Salon, and many other websites and newspapers large and small. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 2015-16, and he is currently a MacDowell Colony writing fellow in New Hampshire, whence he spoke to us. THIS LAND: HOW COWBOYS, CAPITALISM, AND CORRUPTION ARE RUINING THE AMERICAN WEST, published by Viking, is his first book.

THIS LAND: HOW COWBOYS, CAPITALISM, AND CORRUPTION ARE RUINING THE AMERICAN WEST is a hard hitting look at the battle now raging over the fate of the public lands in the American West.

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An area of ancient pinyon and juniper forests larger than the state of Vermont, adapted over eons to the arid lands of the west, is being destroyed by machines such as these – turned into mulch for the planting of seeds of invasive species for forage for the most destructive invasive specie, Bos taurus, cows.

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Articles referenced in this interview include:

Public Land Workers Faced Hundreds Of Threats, Assaults Over The Past 5 Years  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/federal-public-land-workers-assaulted_n_5dae870fe4b0f34e3a7b3048

Federal employees on public lands see anti-government threats as ‘part of the job’   https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/federal-employees-public-lands-anti-government-threats-part/story?id=66417963

Trump Admin Moves To Greenlight Logging In America’s Largest National Forest    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tongass-national-forest-alaska-logging_n_5da61884e4b062bdcb19dd04

William Perry Pendley, opponent of nation’s public lands, is picked to oversee them as acting head of BLM      https://www.sltrib.com/news/nation-world/2019/07/30/william-perry-pendley/

William Perry Pendley: ‘The arsonist in charge of the fire department’    https://missoulacurrent.com/opinion/2019/08/william-perry-pendley/

BLM boss Pendley recused from Grand Staircase planning, but he remains listed as Utah counties’ attorney in suit     https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2019/09/26/blm-boss-pendley-recused/

Interior to shift 44 jobs to Utah, move BLM headquarters to Colorado   https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2019/07/16/blm-headqurters-heads/

‘National tragedy’: Trump begins border wall construction in Unesco reserve   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/12/border-wall-organ-pipe-cactus-arizona

Yellow cedar rejected for threatened species listing     https://apnews.com/8e511ffc18754ac8933f0b565ff4dcb5

Darren Dochuk Annointed with Oil: How Christianity & Crude Made Modern America

University of Notre Dame History professor, Darren Dochuk is the author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plainfolk religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism, which has received numerous prizes and awards. He has also co-edited several other books in American history, including most recently, The Routledge History of the Twentieth-Century United States. His most recent book is ANOINTED WITH OIL: HOW CHRISTIANITY AND CRUDE MADE MODERN AMERICA, published by Basic Books.

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Henry Giroux -The Terror of the Unforeseen

“Power is never so overwhelming that there’s no room for resistance.” Henry Giroux

In this interview with Professor Henry Giroux, we discuss his latest book, THE TERROR OF THE UNFORESEEN, published by LARB Provocations, from The Los Angeles Review of Books. Just the latest of over 65 books he has written.

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Henry Giroux is the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest & The Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. The Toronto Star has named him one of the 12 Canadians Changing the Way We Think. He has also been named in Routledge’s Key Guides as one of the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern period. He is on the editorial and advisory boards of numerous national and international scholarly journals. He is on the Board of Directors for Truthout.

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Henry Giroux is a regular contributor to a number of online journals including Truthout, Truthdig, and CounterPunch. He has published in journals including Social Text, Third Text, Cultural Studies, Harvard Educational Review, Theory, Culture, & Society, and Monthly Review.

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His primary research areas are: cultural studies, youth studies, critical pedagogy, popular culture, media studies, social theory, and the politics of higher and public education.  He is particularly interested in what he calls the war on youth, the corporatization of higher education, the politics of neoliberalism, the assault on civic literacy and the collapse of public memory, public pedagogy, the educative nature of politics, and the rise of various youth movements across the globe.

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Articles cited in this interview:

History Holds the Antidote to Trump’s Fascist Politics       https://www.truthdig.com/articles/history-holds-the-antidote-to-trumps-fascist-politics/

As Ilhan Omar Said, Trump Is a Fascist — and His Rallies Prove It       https://truthout.org/articles/as-ilhan-omar-said-trump-is-a-fascist-and-his-rallies-prove-it/

Trump’s race-baiting rallies echo a dark past      https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/9548102-trump-s-race-baiting-rallies-echo-a-dark-past/?fbclid=iwar2ddin-vvf0layxzxiowidbsrkpj0oqk8l7zxgomemfvwnp-uaht5xvyzc

How ignorance lost its innocence      https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/9505301-how-ignorance-lost-its-innocence/

Against the dictatorship of ignorance in the age of Donald Trump: Parts 1 & 2

https://www.salon.com/2019/05/18/against-the-dictatorship-of-ignorance-in-the-age-of-donald-trump-part-1-of-2/               https://www.salon.com/2019/05/19/against-the-dictatorship-of-ignorance-in-the-age-of-trump-part-2-we-can-still-fight-back/

If Classrooms Are “Free of Politics,” the Right Wing Will Grow        https://truthout.org/articles/if-classrooms-are-free-of-politics-the-right-wing-will-grow/

Pedagogical Terrorism and Hope in the age of Fascist Politics https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/10/pedagogical-terrorism-and-hope-in-the-age-of-fascist-politics/

Rethinking the Normalization of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era      https://www.tikkun.org/rethinking-the-normalization-of-fascism-in-the-post-truth-era

The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era     https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/22/the-ghost-of-fascism-in-the-post-truth-era/

Insisting on Resistance in an Age of Ignorance         https://www.truthdig.com/articles/insisting-on-resistance-in-an-age-of-ignorance/

SF Board of Supervisors declare National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SF-Board-of-Supervisors-NRA-domestic-terrorists-14411936.php

The media has become gossip, clickbait and punditry. This threatens democracy https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/27/bernie-sanders-media-democracy

Twitter Wits Go Bonkers Over ‘Trump Gibberish’ That ‘Media Is Destroying The Free Press’       https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-gibberish-twitter-reacts-media-destroying-free-press_n_5d620682e4b0b59d2575c3c7

These Fascists Inadvertently Raised Over $35,000 For A Cause They Hate   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/portland-fascists-donations-latino-immigrants_n_5d624b7fe4b0dfcbd48eae54

The myth of the free speech crisis       https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/03/the-myth-of-the-free-speech-crisis

Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy     https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/30/political-correctness-how-the-right-invented-phantom-enemy-donald-trump

Violence in the name of Trump Dozens of supporters of Donald Trump have carried out or threatened acts of violence. Here, the Guardian lists them all     https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2019/aug/28/in-the-name-of-trump-supporters-attacks-database

US teacher strikes generated victories. So why are they ready to strike again? https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/aug/29/us-teacher-strikes-generated-victories-so-why-are-they-ready-to-strike-again

Billionaires v teachers: the Koch brothers’ plan to starve public education    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/07/arizona-fight-koch-brothers-school-vouchers

A teachable moment: educators must join students in demanding climate justice https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/30/climate-strike-teachers-students-greta-thunberg

To rescue democracy, we must revive the reforms of the Progressive Era  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/30/democracy-capitalism-progressive-era-gilded-age

Christopher Leonard – KOCHLAND: The Secret History of Koch Industries & Corporate Power in America

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Since the death in 1967, of Koch patriarch, Fred Koch,fred-koch300.jpg

Charles Koch has governed the private corporation, Koch Industries, influencing the economy and politics of the United States as few individuals have ever done in history.

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An early, lucrative investment was the acquisition of the Pine Bend Refinery, a “cash cow” for the Kochs for over 50 years. Conflicts with labor unions and violations of environmental laws marked Koch management of Pine BendPineBendaerial.png

In Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America (Simon & Schuster, 2019), business journalist, Christopher Leonard, delves deeply into the history of the Koch family and businesses, whose products are foundational to the U.S. economy – from fertilizer for food to energy for transportation, industry and homes, to the fibers we wear and more.

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Among its numerous acquisitions over the past 50 years, Georgia-Pacific was one of its biggest, affecting many communities, including Ft. Bragg, CA. The former mill site was bought from Koch Industries by the City of Ft. Bragg.  Many are concerned about the toxic residues, including lead, arsenic, dioxin and PCBs.

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M.A. Taylor: The Creepy Line

 

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In his documentary, THE CREEPY LINE, M.A. Taylor takes a critical look at the power of internet companies to control information, influence consumers and the electorate, and dominate 21st century culture, economics and politics.

The Creepy Line_Graphic 7.pngIn particular, Facebook and Google dominate the global internet, resisting meaningful regulation by government.

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Former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, said that Google operates right up to what he calls “the creepy line,” controlling platforms that seem not to be connected to it, and blocking access to individuals without recourse, appeal or explanation.th.jpg

Canadian university psychology professor, Dr. Jordan Peterson, had his youtube channel removed after he wrote against pending legislation in the Canadian Parliament.

The Crepy Line_Robert Epstein.pngDr. Robert Epstein had all of his Google apps from email to website abruptly blocked. He found that there was no service department to explain or remediate this violation. He has conducted numerous experiments demonstrating how platforms such as Google can change opinions of voters and consumers to astounding degrees.

Taylor asserts that unlike corporations such as Apple and Microsoft, which deliver products – for hefty prices – companies like Facebook and Google don’t sell us products: we ARE their product. Their data collection and increasing surveillance of almost every aspect of our lives, which they sell to other companies, the government and anyone they choose, should be of concern to citizens everywhere who value democracy.

 

 

Courtney Quirin – GUARDIAN

We speak with Courtney Quirin, whose film, Guardian, won the JURY PRIZE for BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE  at this year’s SF IndieFest. Guardian will be screened at the Mendocino Film Festival this Saturday, June 1 at 5:30 in Crown Hall. It has been described as a cautionary tale about the role of science in environmental decision-making and the repercussions of its censorship. But that is totally inadequate to describe the human focus, the magnificent cinematography and the emotional impact the film has.

Courtney Quirin’s background includes a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management from U of Otago in New Zealand, which included going to the highlands of Ethiopia to identify the nature and extent of farmer-primate conflict. Then, on to Ohio State U. to investigate urban coyotes for her PhD, but just shy of 2 years into that degree, she realized that her true passions lie within documentary film and investigative journalism. So she earned her Master’s in Journalism and Documentary Film from the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has reported for the Associated Press in South Africa, Al Jazeera, Bay Nature Magazine and Mission Local in California.Doug+paddling-5.jpg

Doug Stewart has been a Guardian in the Great Bear Rainforest since 1977, living on the Surfbird with his wife, Carol, & monitoring over 129 creeks & streams. SURFBIRD.jpg

After Doug, Stan Hutchings is the 2nd oldest Guardian. He began as a teenager in 1979.Stan.jpg

After the interview with Courtney, we reported on the US Navy’s proposed Training & Testing, reading a PSA from Thaïs Mazur:

The Navy is seeking Federal Regulatory Permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to do weapons testing off the Mendocino coast, requesting a seven year permit to do the testing and training 12 miles offshore.
This is part of the larger Northwest Navy Training and Testing from Alaska to Northern California. The coast of Mendocino is a major migration route for gray whales and humpbacks.
The Navy is proposing activities that include anti-submarine warfare exercises involving tracking aircraft and sonar; surface-to-air gunnery and missile exercises; air-to-surface bombing exercises; and extensive testing for several new weapons systems.
U.S. Navy training exercises in the Pacific Ocean could kill, injure, or harm dozens of protected species of marine mammals — Southern Resident killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises — through the use of high-intensity, mid-frequency sonar, which harass whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, 12.5 million times over the next five years. The use of sonar has been directly connected to many instances of beached whales, that have died from erupting lungs, ruptured ear drums and organ damage after military sonar exercises. Sonar exercises have also been found to cause mass strandings of whales.
The Navy is accepting comments on the DRAFT Supplemental EIS through June 12, 2019. Here is the link:
https://www.nwtteis.com/PublicInvolvement/Public-Comment

All photos credited to Courtney Quirin

Adam Higginbotham – MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster

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After 10 years of research, Adam Higginbotham’s book, MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster, provides the first complete account of the catastrophe that encircled the world and helped precipitate the fall of the USSR. It is published by Simon & Schuster.

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Some articles referring to the event can be found here:

Chernobyl: The end of a three-decade experiment   • 14 February 2019 https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47227767

Since the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, an area of more than 4,000 square kilometres has been abandoned. That could be about to change, as Victoria Gill discovered during a week-long trip to the exclusion zone.

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Visiting Chernobyl 32 Years After the Disaster
https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/04/visiting-chernobyl-32-years-after-the-disaster/559016/

On April 26, 1986, technicians conducting a test inadvertently caused the fourth reactor to explode. Several hundred staff members and firefighters then tackled a blaze that burned for 10 days and sent a plume of radiation around the world in the worst-ever civil nuclear disaster. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed at the time. Authorities evacuated 120,000 people from the area, including 43,000 from the city of Pripyat. Below, recent images from Chernobyl and nearby ghost towns within the exclusion zone, as well as memorials held in Ukraine and Russia.

19 stunning photos show what the radioactive area inside the Chernobyl nuclear plant looks like 32 years after the explosion
Sarah Jacobs      Apr. 26, 2018,
https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-of-chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-zone-today-2018-4

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Chernobyl Today – The site of Chernobyl 30 years after
http://www.radioactivity.eu.com/site/pages/Chernobyl_Today.htm

CHERNOBYL: A MILLION CASUALTIES          http://www.envirovideo.com

Chernobyl Accident 1986
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/chernobyl-accident.aspx