Category Archives: Social Justice

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

Held v. State of Montana – Plaintiffs & Attorneys Discuss 8-3-21 Ruling Against the State

On March 13, 2020, 16 young Montanans filed their constitutional climate lawsuit against the state of Montana, asserting that, by supporting a fossil fuel-driven energy system, which is contributing to the climate crisis, Montana is violating their constitutional rights to a clean and healthful environment; to seek safety, health, and happiness; and to individual dignity and equal protection of the law. The youth plaintiffs also argue that the state’s fossil fuel energy system is degrading and depleting Montana’s constitutionally protected public trust resources, including the atmosphere, rivers and lakes, fish and wildlife.

On August 3, 2021, these 16 young plaintiffs secured a critical victory when Judge Kathy Seeley denied the state’s attempt to prevent their case, Held v. State of Montana, from proceeding to trial.

Now, the Montana court has joined others, including courts in Washington, Texas, Oregon, and Colorado, in exercising the court’s role to declare the constitutional boundaries of what governments must and must not do when it comes to climate change.
This is a watershed moment for all the science-based youth climate lawsuits supported by the non-profit law firm, Our Children’s Trust, including Juliana v. United States, La Rose v. Her Majesty the Queen, Sagoonick v. Alaska and many more.

Ricki Held, lead plaintiff in Held v. MT

In this zoom briefing recorded on August 13, 2021, attorneys Roger Sullivan of Kallispell with Melissa Hornbein and Nate Bellinger of Our Children’s Trust are joined by youth plaintiffs Ricki Held of Broaddus and Grace Gibson-Snyder of Missoula in discussing the significance to their case, Held v. Montana. Erin Barnhart moderates.

Grace Gibson-Snyder, co-plaintiff in Held v. MT

You can find out more here:

https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/montana

Judge rules in favor of Montana youth plaintiffs, affirms case can proceed to trial https://westernlaw.org/judge-rules-favor-montana-youth-plaintiffs-affirms-case-can-proceed-trial/

MONTANA: Judge Sides With Youth Plaintiffs in Climate Case https://ens-newswire.com/montana-judge-sides-with-youth-plaintiffs-in-climate-case/

COP 26: The teenagers suing 33 countries https://www.bbc.com/news/av/science-environment-59776108

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

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:

‘Q’ Has Been Quiet, but QAnon Lives On https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/20/technology/qanon-conspiracy-movement.html

French Child Kidnapping Plot Shows Global Sway Of QAnon Style https://www.huffpost.com/entry/french-child-kidnapping-plot-qanon_n_6163862ce4b024dc528228ff

I’m a Parkland Shooting Survivor. QAnon Convinced My Dad It Was All a Hoax. https://www.vice.com/en/article/epnq84/im-a-parkland-shooting-survivor-qanon-convinced-my-dad-it-was-all-a-hoax?utm_source=vicenewstwitter

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

Man Kills His Two Young Children Over QAnon, “Serpent DNA” Conspiracy Theories, FBI Says https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/08/matthew-coleman-qanon-serpent-dna-kills-children.html

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

Ian Millhiser THE AGENDA: How a Republican Supreme Court Is Reshaping America

Vox.com legal journalist, Ian Millhiser’s, latest book is THE AGENDA: HOW A REPUBLICAN SUPREME COURT IS RESHAPING AMERICA, just out from Columbia Global Reports.

Before his current work at Vox, he was Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress and was a Legal Research Analyst with ThinkProgress. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The American Prospect, Politico, as well as The National Law Journal, The Yale Law & Policy Review, and The Duke Law Journal. He has been the guest on Democracy Now as well as NPR among many others. We spoke with Ian Millhiser on April 19, 2021.

Articles referenced in this interview:

The Supreme Court hears a case next week that could make Citizens United even worse https://www.vox.com/2021/4/17/22384256/supreme-court-citizens-united-disclosure-americans-for-prosperity-rodriquez-thomas-more

A new bill would add 4 seats to the Supreme Court https://www.vox.com/22384461/supreme-court-court-expansion-packing-judiciary-act-13-seats-jones-nadler-markey-johnson

Let’s Think About Court-Packing https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/51/lets-think-about-court-packing-2/

Biden’s Supreme Court reform commission won’t fix anything https://www.vox.com/2021/4/10/22375792/supreme-court-biden-commission-reform-court-packing-federalist-society

What Biden’s first list of judicial nominees tells us about his approach to the courts https://www.vox.com/2021/3/30/22358434/biden-first-judicial-nominees-ketanji-brown-jackson-public-defenders-diversity-criminal-justice

The Supreme Court’s new, deeply fractured decision on churches and the pandemic, explained https://www.vox.com/2021/2/6/22269879/supreme-court-amy-coney-barrett-south-bay-pentecostal-newsom-religion-covid-california

The Christian right is racking up huge victories in the Supreme Court, thanks to Amy Coney Barrett https://www.vox.com/2021/4/12/22379689/supreme-court-amy-coney-barrett-religion-california-tandon-newsom-first-amendment

The Supreme Court’s coming war with Joe Biden, explained https://www.vox.com/22276279/supreme-court-war-joe-biden-agency-regulation-administrative-neil-gorsuch-epa-nondelegation

The Voting Rights Act had a surprisingly good day at the Supreme Court https://www.vox.com/2021/3/2/22309326/supreme-court-voting-rights-act-brnovich-democratic-national-committee-carvin-brett-kavanuagh

The Supreme Court’s enigmatic “shadow docket,” explained https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-supreme-court-s-enigmatic-shadow-docket-explained/ar-BB17PxzL

FBI facing allegation that its 2018 background check of Brett Kavanaugh was ‘fake’ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/16/fbi-brett-kavanaugh-background-check-fake

Supreme court rules juvenile life sentences are unconstitutional https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/jun/25/supreme-court-juvenile-life-sentences

US supreme court declines to limit life without parole sentences for minors https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/apr/22/us-supreme-court-life-without-parole-sentences-minors

What the Supreme Court got wrong about homicides committed by cops https://www.vox.com/22373833/supreme-court-police-killings-homicide-derek-chauvin-graham-connor-shooting-fourth-amendment

The Supreme Court Is Also to Blame for Daunte Wright’s Death https://truthout.org/articles/the-supreme-court-is-also-to-blame-for-daunte-wrights-death/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=0286a261-97de-4732-a3fe-ec797fa49ea6

John Topping , 77, Dies; Early Advocate for Climate Action https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/10/climate/john-topping-dead.htm

LaDonna Allard Dies at 64; Led Dakota Pipeline Protests https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/us/ladonna-allard-dead.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Obituaries

Ramsey Clark, Attorney General and Rebel With a Cause, Dies at 93 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/10/us/politics/ramsey-clark-dead.html

John C. Coffee, Jr. CORPORATE CRIME & PUNISHMENT: The Crisis of Underenforcement

After the global financial crisis of 2008 with all the repercussions to our economy and harm to individual lives, not a single high level corporate executive went to prison. Some claimed it was rank politics protecting them, but was there more to the story?

John C. Coffee, Jr., whose book, CORPORATE CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: THE CRISIS OF UNDERENFORCEMENT, was published in 2020 by Barrett-Koehler, is Columbia University Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law. Although he has been a law professor at Columbia University since 1980, this book is written for the lay audience.

Professor Coffee has won many awards for his writing, his work in corporate governance, and exploring the interests of activist investors. He has served on the Legal Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the Legal Advisory Board that oversaw Nasdaq. He is a recognized expert on both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Delaware Court of Chancery, the forum in which the vast majority of American commercial disputes are heard.