Category Archives: history

Todd Miller Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World Without Borders

Returning to Forthright Radio is Izzy Award winning Todd Miller. He was our guest in 2017, when the book that won the Izzy Award, STORMING THE WALL: CLIMATE CHANGE, MIGRATION, AND HOMELAND SECURITY, came out. Last Spring of 2021, City Lights published his latest book, BUILD BRIDGES, NOT WALLS: A Journey to a World Without Borders. We spoke with him on August 30, 2021.

Building Bridges his his fourth book on border issues.

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf

Articles pertinent to this interview:

The broadcast ended with this piece by David Shuster, Trump’s Border Wall WRECKED By Storms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F81SPqWNO0c

Supreme court orders Biden to revive Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ policy https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/24/supreme-court-biden-trump-remain-in-mexico-migrant-policy

Federal Judge Debunks Greg Abbott’s COVID-Fighting Rationale, Blocks Texas Governor’s Ban on Transporting Migrants https://lawandcrime.com/covid-19-pandemic/federal-judge-debunks-greg-abbotts-covid-fighting-rationale-blocks-texas-governors-ban-on-transporting-migrants/

The wall Trump built for a fake crisis just got washed away by floods from a real crisis https://www.mic.com/p/the-wall-trump-built-for-a-fake-crisis-just-got-washed-away-by-floods-from-a-real-crisis-84116464

Repression Without Borders https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/28/opinion/sunday/repression-human-rights-china-turkey-russia.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Editorials

The Housing First Village in Bozeman https://forthright.media/2021/08/26/housing-first-village/

Thom Hartmann – The Hidden History of American Healthcare: Why Sickness Bankrupts You & Makes Others Insanely Rich

Thom Hartmann has had a very interesting life, campaigning for Barry Goldwater at the age of 13 with his father in Michigan, and a few years later protesting the war in Vietnam with Students for a Democratic Society, SDS. He’s an ordained Minister with Coptic Fellowship International. In the 1970s, He founded numerous businesses from an herbal products company to The New England Salem Children’s Village. He founded International Wholesale Travel & subsidiary in 1983. He moved to Germany with his family to work with Salem International, a relief agency. He founded the advertising agency, The Newsletter Factory. In 1996, he sold that company and retired to Vermont.

From 1968 to 1978 he worked as a DJ and news director at Lansing Michigan radio stations. In 2003, he started a radio show on a local station in Vermont, which was quickly picked up by IE America Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio. He moved to Oregon in 2005, and in addition to continuing his national show, he co-hosted a local talk show in Portland. And he’s also done a tv program.

By my count, THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF AMERICAN HEALTHCARE: WHY SICKNESS BANKRUPTS YOU AND MAKES OTHERS INSANELY RICH is number 31.

Some articles by Thom Hartmann or pertinent to this interview can be found here:

When Will We Stop Letting Our Presidents Lie America Into Wars? https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/08/17/when-will-we-stop-letting-our-presidents-lie-america-wars?

Neoliberal economics have failed, and everyone knows it. But are the Democrats strong enough to seize the moment? https://www.salon.com/2021/08/15/the-crisis-of-neoliberalism-america-arrives-at-one-of-historys-great-crossroads_partner/

Don’t blame Russian trolls for America’s anti-vaxx problem. Our misinformation is homegrown https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/aug/18/facebook-fazze-russian-trolls-anti-vaxx-misinformation

American CEOs make 351 times more than workers. In 1965 it was 15 to one https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/17/american-chief-executive-pay-wages-workers

We Must Fight Privatization of Medicare and Medicaid to Win Single-Payer https://truthout.org/articles/we-must-fight-privatization-of-medicare-and-medicaid-to-win-single-payer/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=94218a9b-fb8d-4f5c-ad48-b0ec4766802b

‘Your child will wait for another child to die.’ Amid Covid-19 surge, Dallas County has no pediatric ICU beds left, county judge says https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/13/us/dallas-county-no-pediatric-icu-beds-left/index.html

No one wanted to read’ his book on pandemic psychology – then Covid hit https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/19/book-psychology-pandemics-steven-taylor

The Real “Cancel Culture” Scheme By Republicans Revealed https://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2021/03/real-cancel-culture-scheme-republicans-revealed

America is full of ‘democracy deserts’. Wisconsin rivals Congo on some metrics https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/13/america-is-full-of-democracy-deserts-wisconsin-rivals-congo-on-some-metrics

Tens of Thousands Sign Petition Calling for Ron DeSantis (Death Sentence) to Be Recalled https://truthout.org/articles/tens-of-thousands-sign-petition-calling-for-ron-desantis-to-be-recalled/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=c2c4a910-3cf5-40b1-8599-85bbf788c2db

Santa Claus Is About To Drop a Bomb On Biden https://hartmannreport.com/p/santa-clause-is-about-to-drop-a-bomb

Alexander Hinton IT CAN HAPPEN HERE: White Power and the Rising Threat of Genocide in the US

Alexander Hinton is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention at Rutgers University. 

He is the author of over a dozen books including the award-winning Why did they Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide; Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer; and The Justice Facade: Trials of Transition in Cambodia. His new book is It Can Happen Here: White Power and the Rising Threat of Genocide in the US published by NYU Press.

He was an expert witness in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Genocide Trial. Khmer Rouge Brother Number Two, Nuon Chea, was ultimately convicted of charges of genocide. He died in prison on August 4, 2019 at the age of 93.

At the end of the interview, we quoted Ulysses S. Grant:

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.”

Articles pertinent to this interview:

A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/25/us/ohio-hovater-white-nationalist.html?searchResultPosition=1

The South Must Teach Its Children the Truth https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/02/opinion/South-slavery-Confederacy-curriculum.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Opinion

A Fight Over Zoning Tests Charlottesville’s Progress on Race https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/01/us/charlottesville-va-zoning-affordable-housing.html

Fourth Police Officer Who Responded to Jan. 6 Attack Dies By Suicide https://www.huffpost.com/entry/officer-kyle-defreytag_n_61089f3de4b038cedb36e4ae

Tucker Carlson TO Speak at Hungarian Far-Right Conference https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tucker-carlson-orban-hungary-far-right_n_6108bbd1e4b038cedb36fa71

Want to Make Jim Jordan Sing About the Capitol Attack? Ask Jefferson Davis https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/02/want-to-make-jim-jordan-sing-about-the-capitol-attack-ask-jefferson-davis

Malignant normality: The psychological theory that explains naked emperors, narcissists and Nazis https://www.salon.com/2021/08/12/malignant-normality-the-psychological-theory-that-explains-naked-emperors-narcissists-and-nazis/

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

John Judis – The Politics of Our Time: Populism, Nationalism, Socialism

Currently an editor at large at Talking Points Memo, John Judis has a long history as a senior writer at the National Journal and former senior editor at The New Republic. As you will hear in this interview from May 28, 2021, his ideas have evolved from his activist days in the 1960s as a founding editor of Socialist Revolution, renamed Socialist Review and then Radical Society. In the 1970s he was a founding editor of the East Bay Voice. In 1976, he became foreign editor of In These Times, the democratic socialist newsweekly. He quit in 2014, along with other editors in protest of the owner’s firing of an editor and plan to turn the magazine into a profit making enterprise.

His books include William F. Buckley: Patron Saint of the Conservatives from 1988, The Paradox of American Democracy: Elites, Special Interests, and the Betrayal of the Public Trust; and The Folly of Empire : What George W. Bush Could Learn from Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

His tenth book, The Politics of Our Time: Populism, Nationalism, Socialism, was just published by Columbia Global Reports. It is a compendium of revised editions of three of his previous books: The Populist Explosion, The Nationalist Revival, and The Socialist Awakening.

Corporate Subsidy Quietly Dies in Texas — Topping Off Bad Week for Big Oil https://theintercept.com/2021/06/01/texas-subsidies-oil-companies/

Exxon Board to Get a Third Activist Pushing Cleaner Energy https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/02/business/exxon-board-clean-energy.html

Supreme Court Rules on Tribal Police & Immigrants’ Testimony https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/01/us/supreme-court-tribal-police-immigration.html?action=click&module=In%20Other%20News&pgtype=Homepage

White male minority rule pervades politics across the US, research shows https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/may/26/white-male-minority-rule-us-politics-research

The Banality of Democratic Collapse https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/24/opinion/republicans-donald-trump-loyalty.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Progressives Won Chile’s Election. And They Won Big https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/19/chile-election-constitution.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

An ‘Army of 15-Year-Olds’ Takes on the Democrats https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/19/us/teens-massachusetts-elections.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

The Numbers are grim. Republicans are winning at normalizing voter suppression https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/19/republicans-are-winning-at-normalizing-voter-suppression

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

Mark Sullivan THE LAST GREEN VALLEY

Perhaps you have heard of The Martel Construction Company headquartered in Bozeman, MT. Beginning with a spec house in 1960, this family owned and operated business has become one of Montana’s premier general contracting firms. They also specialize in green building, including the LEED Platinum MSU Norm Asbjornson Hall, the LEED certified Element Hotel, The LEED Silver Bozeman Public Library and other green built structures, such as Morningstar and Emily Dickinson Elementary Schools, Chief Joseph Middle School and The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

Before their arrival in Bozeman during a wild late Spring storm in 1956, however, they had lived through harrowing experiences as refugees fleeing the Red Army from their farmstead in the Ukraine, across Eastern Europe, through separation and reunion in the final year and aftermath of World War II.

Their incredible story of that time is brought vividly to life by award winning local Gallatin Valley writer, Mark Sullivan, in his latest book, THE LAST GREEN VALLEY.

Map of the long, perilous journey the Martels took from their farmstead in southern Ukraine to their eventual reunion in West Germany after the end of World War II. (Courtesy of Lake Union Publishing)

Mark is the best selling author of 18 previous novels, most recently BENEATH A SCARLET SKY, which has sold about 3 million copies and has been translated into dozens of foreign languages, and which was also an astounding true story from World War II.

We spoke with Mark Sullivan on April 26, 2021.

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

13,000-year-old brewery discovered in Israel, the oldest in the world https://www.timesofisrael.com/13000-year-old-brewery-discovered-in-israel-the-oldest-in-the-world/

Carl Zimmer LIFE’S EDGE: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive

In addition to writing for The New York Times, Discover, National Geographic, the Atlantic, Wired and others, Carl Zimmer is the author of 14 books on science, from his first in 1998: AT THE WATER’S EDGE: FISH WITH FINGERS, WHALES WITH LEGS, AND HOW LIFE CAME ASHORE AND THEN WENT BACK TO SEA to his latest book, which we discuss today, LIFE’S EDGE: THE SEARCH FOR WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ALIVE, just published by Dutton.

He claims to be the only writer after whom a species of tapeworm has been named, Acanthobothrium zimmeri. We spoke with him on March 15, 2021.

We end with poems read by San Francisco poet, publisher and founder of City Lights Books, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He died just two months shy of his 102nd birthday on February 22, 2021.

A Tapeworm To Call My Own https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/a-tapeworm-to-call-my-own

What Is Life? Its Vast Diversity Defies Easy Definition. https://www.quantamagazine.org/what-is-life-its-vast-diversity-defies-easy-definition-20210309/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

The Surprising Origins of Life’s Complexity https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-surprising-origins-of-lifes-complexity-20130716

Meet the Sea Slugs That Chop Off Their Heads and Grow New Bodies https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/08/science/decapitated-sea-slugs.html?surface=home-discovery-vi-prg&fellback=false&req_id=1216872&algo=identity&variant=no-exp&imp_id=659601079&action=click&module=Science%20%20Technology&pgtype=Homepage

The Earth’s first breathable atmosphere https://earthsky.org/earth/the-earths-first-breathable-atmosphere

Tardigrades: nature’s great survivors https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/mar/20/tardigrades-natures-great-survivors