What happens to a representative democracy when one party is no longer committed to the foundational notion everyone must be represented, equally? This is one of the questions David Daley addresses in his latest book, UNRIGGED: HOW AMERICANS ARE BATTLING BACK TO SAVE DEMOCRACY.
David Daley is a senior fellow for FairVote and the author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy, which helped spark the recent drive to reform gerrymandering. Dave’s second book, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy, chronicles the victories and defeats in state efforts to reform elections and uphold voting rights.
He is the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com, and the former CEO and publisher of the Connecticut News Project. He is a digital media fellow at the Wilson Center for the Humanities and the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Guardian, New York magazine, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Rolling Stone. When writing for the Hartford Courant, he helped identify Mark Felt as the “Deep Throat” source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
Some articles by David Daley or pertinent to this interview:
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.
After 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.
[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.”
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.
[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:
In the first segment, we speak with Thom Hartmann, whose latest book in his Hidden History series is: The Hidden History of THE WAR ON VOTING: WHO STOLE YOUR VOTE AND HOW TO GET IT BACK, published by Barrett- Koehler.
In our second segment we speak with Jane Kleeb. Her book, HARVEST THE VOTE: HOW DEMOCRATS CAN WIN AGAIN IN RURAL AMERICA, was just published in January 2020 by Ecco.
The Lost 110 Words of Our Constitution: The 14th Amendment says states that infringe the vote must lose representation in Congress. It’s time to make this happen.
This graphic shows a county-by-county breakdown of the 2016 presidential election results. The counties that went for Donald Trump are colored red and the counties that went for Hillary Clinton are colored blue. Graphic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
What happens when a family decides to devote themselves to creating a more healing world and gathers materials from nature and engage their own creativity to make toys for children bychildren? What if this is part of bringing into reality a vision of community healing the harm of generations of trauma experienced by First Nations people? What if the busy parents ask for assistance from a local church group, and a group of elder women joins in?
In October of 2019, some of those Elders from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman, “Kaalas” in the language of the Crow, brought us to the home of Drs. of Education Megkian and Shane Doyle, where we were welcomed by four of their five children: 6 year old twins, Blake and Quanah, 9 year old Lillian, and 11 year old Ruby. They shared with us their vision of the Family Healing Center, and why they created The Native American Children’s Toy Company.
Every 10th toy the children make is given to a Native American child currently in foster care with this letter: “…. No matter what happens, you will always have a home and a homeland with your people…”
Megkian (center), Quanah (left) & Blake (right) write words in English & Crow on stones to create “Story Stones”. Players pull stones from a bag & then make up stories from them. Kaalla, Ita Kileen, in the background works on a hoop for “Sticks & Hoops”.
Quanah Doyle works on a project. A bag of “Story Stones” are in front of him.
Lilian (left) & Ruby (right) Megkian (back)
From left to right: Ruby, Brooklyn, Kaalas Robyn Lauster & Kitty Donich (photo by Megkian Doyle)
From left to right: Blake, Lily’s friend, Elizabeth, Lily, Ita Killeen, Kitty Donich in back. (photo by Megkian Doyle)
Ruby (left) & friend, Brooklyn, (right)
Lilian (left) & friend, Lia, play “Story Stones”.
Quanah demonstrates “Stick & Hoop”
Unless otherwise credited, all photos courtesy of Kaala, Robyn Lauster. The family photo at top is by Arnica Spring Rae.
On this edition of Ecotones, we hear from local Bozemanites, Dr. Mary M. Clare, Ph.D. and author, Gary Ferguson, about their work in evolving the concept of Full Ecology. How regaining our sense of kinship, relationship and interconnection, and being guided by balance, rhythm and harmony, we can survive and thrive the disruptions of our personal embedded environments, and the greater environments of which we are a natural part. Gary is The author of 26 books, the latest of which is THE EIGHT MASTER LESSONS OF NATURE: WHAT NATURE TEACHES US ABOUT LIVING WELL IN THE WORLD, published by Dutton.
Thom Hartmann is a progressive national and internationally syndicated talk show host. He’s a New York Times bestselling, 4-times Project Censored Award-winning author of 24 books in print in 17 languages on five continents. Among his many books are Screwed: The Undeclared War Against The Middle Class and What We Can Do About It; Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became “People” – And How You Can Fight Back; Leonardo DiCaprio was inspired by Thom Hartmann’s book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, to make the movie “The 11th Hour” (in which he appears). His latest books are in his Hidden History Series: The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment and The Hidden History of The Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America, both published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. In it, Thom Hartmann address questions such as Why did the founders create the Supreme Court? What is judicial review – and how does it make the Supreme Court what thomas Jefferson, post-1803 – a despotic branch? How does the history of the US Constitution explain the Court’s frequent decisions in favor of the wealthy and corporations? The HAS the Court sided with popular opinion – and how have people successfully challenged the Court in the past? How did a 20th Century coalition of business and billionaires seize control of the American government, including the Supreme Court? How did America’s great democratic experiment end in a functional oligarchy? Most important, how can we change course in time to address the planetary crisis of climate change?
In this interview recorded on July 25, 2019, John Taliaferro discusses the extraordinary life of George Bird Grinnell, largely forgotten to conservation history. His book, Grinnell: America’s Environmental Pioneer & His Restless Drive to Save the West, is published by Liveright Publishing, a division of W. W. Norton.
Grinnell is credited with being the first person of European descent to explore what is today Glacier National Park, as well as being instrumental in its creation
He was a founder of the Audubon Society and published The Audubon Magazine.
Grinnell was a prolific writer on many topics, including hunting, conservation, the ethnology of numerous Native American tribes, and novels about Jack, a Western boy.
Childless himself, he wrote the “Jack” books for his nephews:
Aric McBay is an organizer, farmer, and author of four books. He writes and speaks about effective social movements, and has organized campaigns around prison justice, Indigenous solidarity, pipelines, unionization, and other causes. His books include Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet(with Lierre Keith & Derrick Jensen), What We Leave Behind (also with Derrick Jensen) and PEAK OIL SURVIVAL, which is the rewritten version of Tools for Gridcrash.. Today, we’ll be focusing on his latest publication, the two volume, FULL SPECTRUM RESISTANCE. Volume One is BUILDING MOVEMENTS AND FIGHTING TO WIN. Volume Two is ACTIONS AND STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE, just published by Seven Stories Press.
Aric McBay lives and farms near Kingston, Ontario, on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory.
We will have a second interview with Aric on July 3, 2019.
In this edition of Forthright Radio, we bring you a recording of a panel discussion from the 2019 BZN International Film Festival, featuring Mike Mease, co-founder of Buffalo Field Campaign, and Doug Peacock, writer, naturalist, filmmaker and Green Beret combat medic, who is founder of Save The Yellowstone Grizzly.
It was recorded in the Hager Auditorium of the Museum of the Rockies on June 8, 2019.
Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) is the only group working both in the field and in the policy arenas to stop the harassment and slaughter of America’s last wild buffalo.
Formalized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1997, we also protect the natural habitat of wild free-roaming bison and other native wildlife, and stand with First Nations to honor the sacredness of wild buffalo.
Our primary goal is to create permanent year-round protection for bison and the ecosystem they depend on—including respect for the migratory needs of this long-exploited and clearly endangered species.
Save the Yellowstone Grizzly (STYG) was founded by Doug Peacock in 2016 as a response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) statement published in the Federal Register on March 3, 2016, recommending the removal of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem from their “threatened” status under the Endangered Species Act.
On June 3, 2016, Peacock drafted a letter to President Barack Obama which emphasized the FWS’s tragic dismissal of the importance of climate change: In the last decade, climate change has decimated the Yellowstone grizzly’s most important food, the white bark pine nut.
Today, all grizzlies south of Canada are threatened by global warming, which has already decimated the Yellowstone grizzly’s most important food source, the whitebark pine nut. In August 2018, Save the Yellowstone Grizzly filed an amicus brief to address the most crucial issue and deficiency in the government’s case, climate change. Judge Christensen accepted the brief on August 29, the day before the federal hearing on delisting.
Liz Miller is a documentary maker and professor interested in new approaches to community collaborations and documentary as a way to connect personal stories to larger social concerns. She is a Full Professor in Communications Studies at Concordia University in Montreal and teaches courses in media production, methods in co-creation/ research-creation, Latin American film, Media-and-the-Environment, Food Systems and more. Her films/educational campaigns on timely issues such as water privatization, immigration, refugee rights and the environment have won international awards, been integrated into educational curricula and influenced decision makers. Liz Miller’s The Shoreline Project, which in a series of 2 dozen short films takes us around the world to meet people from myriad cultures and backgrounds, creatively responding to increasing realities of climate disruption, will be at this year’s Mendocino Film Festival in two formats: The film collection, The Shore Line, will screen at the Matheson this coming Saturday June – 1 at12:30 pm. The full interactive exhibit of The Shoreline Project, will be on display at the Festival Headquarters in Odd Fellows Hall, during the entire festival.
Sefali is a Green Rhinos Youth Leader in Maipith, Sundarbans, India. After a devastating cyclone hit in 2009, she organized fellow students to plant trees around their homes and school.
Matias Asun exchanged his job as Director of Greenpeace in Chile to become the Ambassador from the newly proclaimed Republica Glaciar after concluding that the Chilean government had abandoned glaciers. He lobbies the Legislature and pertinent boards to gain protection for them from mining companies and climate disruption.
Ioane Teitiota of the island nation of Kiribati was the first person in the world to apply for climate refugee status in New Zealand. Although his island is expected to be completely inundated within 20 years, the Immigration Board ruled that he and his family were not in danger of dying, so they were sent back. Noting that if he were granted asylum on grounds of climate change it would open the floodgate for millions of others ironically confirmed his reason for being granted asylum.
Will Nelson is a biologist and a member of the Metlakatla Stewardship Council. They are engaged in using helicopters to map inter-tidal archeological sites to document their heritage in present day British Columbia, which they have maintained for at least the past 14,000 years. Structures such as clam gardens and clam middens establish their long-standing claims to the land to protect sensitive coastal areas from development.
After the interview with Liz Miller, 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