They Said ‘No” to Torture: The Nation 12/15

Hidden in the Senate torture report are stories of some heroes—people inside the CIA who from the beginning said torture was wrong, who tried to stop it, who refused to participate. There were also some outside the CIA, in the military and the FBI, who risked careers and reputations by resisting—and who sometimes paid a heavy price. They should be thanked and honored.
. . . continued at, HERE

Prosecute John Yoo, says Erwin Chemerinsky:, 12/12

Torture is a crime, a violation of the Federal Torture Act. Those who engaged in the torture documented in such exhaustive detail in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report should be prosecuted, and those who conspired in that torture should also be prosecuted. They include UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo, says Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the Law School at the University of California Irvine.
. . . continued at HERE

Prosecute the Torturers: Erwin Chemerinsky–KPFK 12/10

LISTEN online HERE   iTunes podcast HERE
Torture is a federal crime
, and those who authorized it and engaged in it must be criminally prosecuted:  for comment on the Senate report on CIA torture, we turn to ERWIN CHEMERINSKY — he’s dean of the UCI Law School and author of The Case Against the Supreme Court.  He wrote about prosecuting the torturers for the LA Times.

Plus: Labor’s new reality: it’s easier to raise wages for 100,000 than to unionize 4,000.  HAROLD MEYERSON suggests a strategy for building a low-wage workers’ organization in LA County that isn’t a union, because, much as we’d like to, we can’t get there (unions) from here (America, 2014).  Harold is a columnist for the Washington Post op-ed page and editor-at-large of The American Prospect.

Decommissioned Words: A Q&A with Richard Ford–LA Review of Books 12/7

Q.  In your new book our man Frank Bascombe says he wants to “decommission” certain words and phrases. What’s the idea here? What is on Frank’s list of decommissioned words?

RICHARD FORD: The idea is that we take this wonderful living entity in our lives, and we manage to reduce it to clichés and noun-verb constructions — to reduce it almost to babble, as fast as we can. What Frank wants to do is take out as many of these unlikable words, these corrupting and polluting words, as he can. For example: “I am here for you” — when you really mean just the opposite.
— – continued at LA Review of Books: HERE.

Surveillance and Secret Wars: KPFK 12/03

LISTEN online HERE   iTunes podcast HERE
Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State: TOM ENGELHARDT
, legendary editor of TomDispatch, talks about something new under the sun: it’s no longer a national security state, but rather a global security one, fighting secret wars that have turned the president into an assassin-in-chief. Tom’s new book is SHADOW GOVERNMENT.

Also: How a despised immigrant cuisine became a dominant force in American eating: UCI historian YONG CHEN tells the story of Chinese food in America, and answers the question, why is Chinese food so popular?  His new book is CHOP SUEY, USA.

Plus: Art, sex, and politics in Manhattan in the seventies: The rise of the gay rights movement and the simultaneous rise of photography in the galleries; photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as the partner of Patti Smith and documentarian of the city’s S&M scene; and then Sam Wagstaff as a legendary curator, and patron of Mapplethorpe: PHILIP GEFTER will explain it all. His new book is WAGSTAFF: Before and After Mapplethorpe: A Biography.

Why it’s impossible to indict a cop: KPFK 11/24

LISTEN online HERE   iTunes podcast HERE
It’s not just Ferguson, ” says CHASE MADAR — as thousands marched last night in dozens of cities in protest against the grand jury decision not to indict the cop who killed the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.  Chase is a civil rights attorney who writes for The Nation.  Plus BRAD FRIEDMAN of The Bradcast on KPFK.
Also: The war through Afghan eyes: journalist ANAND GOPAL profiles a Taliban commander, a US-backed warlord, and a village housewife trapped between 2 sides.  His book, No Good Men Among the Living, was nominated for the National Book Award.

Plus: the rise of religious fundamentalism across the world’s religions: JACK MILES explains.  He’s editor of the monumental Norton Anthology Of World Religions and won a MacArthur “genuis” award and a Pulitzer.


Harry Shearer’s Nixon, today–and 40 years ago: KPFK 11/19

LISTEN online HERE  iTunes podcast HERE
on Nixon and Watergate: now, and in 1974. The voice of many characters on “The Simpsons,” Harry has released a six-part TV series where he recreates key moments in the Nixon era–all dialogue verbatim from the White House tapes. The series, produced for British TV, is playing now at YouTube HERE.

And the first time Harry ever did Nixon on the radio was on KPFK in 1974, when the transcripts of Nixon’s White House tapes were first released and KPFK broadcast a reading of key scenes—with Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, and Harry as Nixon (a decade later they teamed up to do “Spinal Tap”) — and featuring special guest Mama Cass Elliot as Haldeman. We’ve found the tapes of that historic broadcast, and will play excerpts during this hour.

How better to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Watergate than with Harry Shearer, whose “Nixon” has thrilled listeners for decades? And what better cause than the Pacifica Radio Archives, where our history is available not only to historians, but also to a new generation of listeners and activists?  Please call and pledge during the show: (800) 735-0230

Reporter James Risen, Threatened with Jail by the Obama Admin: KPFK 11/12

LISTEN online HERE  iTunes podcast HERE
The Obama Justice Department is threatening to jail reporter James Risen for refusing to reveal his source for a New York Times story about a botched CIA operation. “My answer,” he says, “is to keep writing.” His new book is Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War­.

Plus: we’re still thinking about the crushing defeat the Democrats suffered at the ballot box last Tuesday – HAROLD MEYERSON has an analysis. Harold is editor at large of The American Prospect and columnist for the Washington Post.

Also: CHARLES M. BLOW is a columnist for the New York Times op-ed page, where he writes about politics and social issues. Now he’s written a memoir of growing up poor and black in rural Louisiana: it’s called Fire Shut up in my Bones. LISTEN to Charles’s “Writing Soundtrack” HERE.

Your Minnesota Moment: protests against the “Redskins” at the Vikings Game in Minneapolis last Sunday: story HERE

Election Post-mortem: Lessons for the Left–KFPK 11/5

JOHN NICHOLS on the elections: Republicans won a lot last night—while California remains overwhelmingly Democratic. The night’s lessons for the left, from the Washington correspondent for The Nation.

plus HARRY SHEARER on Nixon: the host of Le Show, star of Spinal Tap and voice of many characters on “The Simpsons” now has a six-part series where he recreates key moments in the Nixon White House–all dialgoue verbatim from the White House tapes. The series, produced for British TV, is playing now at YouTube HERE.

also KATHA POLLITT on abortion: How pro-choicers can take back the high moral ground. Abortion, she says, is a family value. Katha is a polemicist, poet and feminist – she writes a column for The Nation, and her new book is Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.