Category Archives: history

Bryan Stevenson – The Equal Justice Initiative + Marc Bekoff – The Animals’ Agenda

BRYAN STEVENSON is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University School of Law. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the US Supreme Court , and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.

He will be delivering the Convocation Speech to the incoming Freshman Class at MSU Bozeman on August 24, 2017.

Great-grandson of slaves, he attended “colored” schools. As a young attorney, he created The Equal Justice Initiative to address the hierarchies of inequality in the criminal justice system. He says, “America is a post-genocide society.” “The great evil of American slavery was not the involuntary servitude and forced labor, the great evil was how we created this ideology of white supremacy.”

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Professor MARC BEKOFF

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Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has published more than 1000 essays (popular, scientific, and book chapters), 30 books, and has edited three encyclopedias. His latest book is THE ANIMALS’ AGENDA: FREEDOM, COMPASSION AND COEXISTENCE IN THE HUMAN AGE, co-written with Jessica Pierce, and published by Beacon Press (2017). http://www.beacon.org/The-Animals-Agenda-P1250.aspx

This interview was prompted by his recent interview with Brooks Fahy of  Predator Defense (predatordefense.org), whose investigative work exposes shocking activity at the US Dept of Agriculture, as well as the complicity of wildlife organizations, such as Defenders of Wildlife and The Humane Society of the US, in the “Administrative Removal”, i.e. killing, of wolves in national forests.

There is a separate posting for our full interview with only Professor Bekoff  and more specific citations referenced here:

https://forthrightradio.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/marc-bekoff-the-animals-agenda-freedom-compassion-and-coexistence-in-the-human-age/

 

 

THE PROFANITY PEAK PACK: SET UP & SOLD OUT

http://www.predatordefense.org/profanity/

EXPOSED: THE USDA’S SECRET WAR ON WILDLIFE

http://www.predatordefense.org/exposed/

Wolves and Cows: Individual and Organizational Conflicts

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201708/wolves-and-cows-individual-and-organizational-conflicts

 

 

Jay Riestenberg: Article V Constitutional Convention of the States

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Jay Riestenberg is Campaigns & States Media Strategist for Common Cause, a nonpartisan grassroots organization founded in 1970 dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. They are opposed to an Article V Constitutional Convention of the States, which has never been convened since 1787. Organizations, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) & the Tea Party, along with billionaires such as the Koch brothers & The Mercer family have already garnered 27 of the 34 state legislatures required for such a convention to be called.

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The late Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, had this to say: ” I certainly would not want a constitutional convention. Whoa! Who knows what would come out of it?” …. (it is) “a horrible idea. This is not a good century to write a Constitution.”

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Article V of the United States Constitution:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

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William Hogeland – THE AUTUMN OF THE BLACK SNAKE: THE CREATION OF THE U.S. ARMY AND THE INVASION THAT OPENED THE WEST

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William Hogeland has written about the American Revolution era in three previous books, THE WHISKEY REBELLION, DECLARATION, AND FOUNDING FINANCE. His latest book, THE AUTUMN OF THE BLACK SNAKE: THE CREATION OF THE U.S. ARMY AND THE INVASION THAT OPENED THE WEST, published by Farrar, Strouse, Giroux in 2017, goes in depth into the history surrounding the American Revolution, and particularly a major defeat of the new United States, in fact the greatest defeat effected by North American indigenous peoples in the history of this continent. But few have heard about it, much less the individuals who made it happen. William Hogeland, is determined to remedy this.

First a bit of history:  On this date, July 19th, in 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention was convened. It was the first women’s rights convention, eventually leading after more than 7 decades to, among other things, the 19th Amendment granting women’s right to vote in the U.S. DEC564-38.jpg

And on July 19th 1692, 8 people were found guilty of witchcraft and hanged in Salem, Mass., including Rev. George Burroughs, the only minister to be executed. maxresdefault.jpg

But now, we’ll fast forward a hundred years to “more enlightened times,” when the American Revolution had been won, and the power elites of that era were looking West across the Appalachian Mountains to so-called “vacant lands” for speculation and expansion. With only one problem, that being the people who had been living there for millennia didn’t agree that it was vacant.

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A young George Washington explored, surveyed and speculated in lands west of the Appalachians, in the process becoming one of the causes of the Seven Years War – the first global war, causing over a million casualties – and also enhancing his own career and making his fortune.
The tobacco export business required ever more new lands for planting, due to severe, rapid depletion of the soil, hence the lust for more and more new land to plant.

thomas_jefferson.jpgThomas Jefferson provided an evolving legal theory of Free Holding, dating back to the Anglo Saxon invasion of England, and disavowing the right of kings to grant tenure of lands, which had begun with the Norman Invasion. He believed anyone could take and hold any land without the permission of a sovereign, i.e Direct Ownership, as long as it was “vacant” .

His advice to farmers concerning tobacco’s soil depletion: “Better to move than manure.”

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Blue Jacket, a Shawnee leader, rallied his people to resist American Westward expansion.

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Unlike Blue Jacket, Little Turtle believed that without British armaments, the Americans could not be decisively defeated. His efforts to procure them were unsuccessful.

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Joseph Brant, a member of the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy tried to be a diplomat and go-between among the warring factions – American, Indian and British. His efforts only resulted in ever diminishing trust and respect on all sides.greeneville-wells-1923.jpg

One treaty after another was made and broken by the Americans, although for the most part honored by the Indians. As westward encroachment increased – 10,000 immigrants coming down the Ohio River per month – war was inevitable.

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General Arthur St. Clair, who suffered the greatest defeat by Indians in U.S. history, when as many as 1,200 men, women and children – out of 1,500 – were killed, including most of the officers of the U.S. military.

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St. Clair’s defeat by the Miami Indians at the Battle of the Wabash River Nov. 4, 1791.

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Exact numbers are impossible to determine, but according to David Johnson in Fort Amanda – A Historical Redress (1790-1815):

In a 3 hour battle, of 982 soldiers and 250 civilians, 757 were killed, 413 wounded, 34 unwounded, a Total Casualty Rate of 95%. Placed head to toe, the bodies of those killed at St Clair’s Defeat would measure approximately 4,400 feet.

 

Keith McCafferty

Part 1:

Part 2:

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On July 18, 2017, award winning mystery and Field & Stream writer, Keith McCafferty, gave a lengthy interview, which is divided into two parts here, exploring the often lonely life of a writer – writing novels vs. magazine articles – as well as the ideas for his popular Sean Stranahan mystery series, the latest of which is COLD HEARTED RIVER.

Once again, Madison County, Montana Sheriff, Martha Ettinger, has a string of perplexing deaths – likely homicides – requiring her to pressure artist, and sometime investigator, Sean Stranahan to reluctantly get involved.  This time with the added mystery of a trunk once lost or stolen from Ernest Hemingway seeming to be at the center of the deaths.

We began the interview with the psychological impacts of writing novels vs. Field & Stream articles, and his early years in Appalachian Ohio.

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Julian Brave Noisecat: Global Indigenous Revolution + Doug Peacock: Grizzly delisting

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“For Indians, defeat in the face of American Progress and Manifest Destiny was supposed to be a foregone conclusion.” So writes our guest in the first half of today’s broadcast, Julian Brave Noisecat, in his article, When the Indians Defeat the Cowboys, published in the January 2017 issue of Jacobin magazine. This young indigenous scholar, journalist and activist is in the first half of our show. Doug PeacockIn the second half hour, we speak with Doug Peacock, Montana grizzly bear aficionado, who among many, many other things, was an erstwhile friend of Edward Abbey, and inspiration for the character, George Washington Hayduke, in Abbey’s seminal work, The MONKEY WRENCH GANG. He discusses the delisting of Yellowstone grizzly bears from the endangered species list, as well as what the heck is going on with Montana’s Washington gang, now that 2/3 of its congressional delegation – excluding the other third, organic farmer, Senator John Testor – are not only from the same small city of Bozeman, MT, who worked together at the same cyber-technology start-up, Right Now Technologies, but also both became multimillionaires after Oracle bought it for $1.5 billion. You may remember hearing about the recently elected Greg Gianforte, who pled guilty to assaulting Guardian journalist, Ben Jacobs, the night before the statewide special election to replace former Representative Ryan Zinke, who had been confirmed as Secretary of the Interior. Tom-Murphy-Grizzly-Sow-Cub.jpgDoug recounts the recent up-close encounter with a mama grizzly and her yearling cub, who nursed for 7 minutes 35 feet from him and his daughter in Yellowstone Park.3840.jpgJulian Brave Noisecat graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude in History from Columbia University in 2015. The next year he received a Masters in Global and Imperial History from Oxford University, which had awarded him a Clarendon Scholarship. His writings have appeared in The Guardian, Jacobin, Fusion, Salon, High Country News, Fusion, as well as others. He is a member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen Tribewithin the province of British Columbia.971861.pngDoug Peacock was our guest on Forthright Radio in January 2014, after his book IN THE SHADOW OF THE SABERTOOTH: A RENEGADE NATURALIST CONSIDERS GLOBAL WARMING, THE FIRST AMERICANS AND THE TERRIBLE BEASTS OF THE PLEISTOCENE, was published. After 2 tours as a Special Forces medic in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam, Doug Peacock returned to the United States suffering from the not yet named Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He found wilderness was the only place he could be to deal with the effects of war trauma. Thus began his more than 4 decades of interacting with grizzlies, whom he credits with restoring his soul, & his dedication to protecting and preserving them, & the wilderness they – and we – need to thrive. Doug Peacock was the subject of an award winning film about grizzly bears & Vietnam, called Peacock’s War. Among his books are WALKING IT OFF: A VETERAN’S CHRONICLE OF WAR AND WILDERNESS; GRIZZLY YEARS: IN SEARCH OF THE AMERICAN WILDERNESS; AND IN THE PRESENCE OF GRIZZLIES: THE ANCIENT BOND BETWEEN MEN AND BEARS, written with his wife, Andrea Peacock.

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Gar Alperovitz: Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth

If the design of corporate capitalism is unable to sustain values of equality, genuine democracy, liberty, and ecological sustainability as a matter of inherent systemic architecture, what systemic ‘design’ might ultimately achieve and sustain these values? and
How specifically might it be possible to move forward, especially in difficult political times, to lay foundations for a transformation in the direction of a serious new systemic answer?

But before we ask Gar Alperovitz what answers he has explored to these questions, we take a moment to remember the passing earlier this month of Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, the Nicaraguan Maryknoll priest, and practitioner of Liberation Theology, who was his country’s foreign minister under the Sandanista government during the 1980s. In 2008, he was elected to head the United Nations General Assembly, just before Israel’s Operation Cast Lead began, which resulted in the deaths of over a thousand in Gaza, more than a third of whom were children. In his defense of Palestine throughout those weeks of war, and in his later commitment to forcing the UN to take environmental justice seriously, he aimed to transform the General Assembly into a potent force for global justice. His wisdom and perseverance in the pursuit of justice from a place of love, serve as a beacon in a world too often bent on mindless destruction. To honor him, we share this poignant song written by Nicaraguan song writer, Luis Mejia Godoy, based on a poem by Nicaraguan revolutionary, Tomás Borge, co-founder of the SNLF, The Sandinista National Liberation Front, who had been brutally tortured during the Somosa regime. It’s called,My Personal Revenge, here performed by Jackson Browne.

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Professor Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as an historian, political economist, activist, writer and government official. He is a professor emeritus of political economy at the University of MD, as well as a former fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University; Harvard’s Institute of Politics; the Institute for Policy Studies; and the Brookings Institution.

He is the author of books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy, THE DECISION TO USE THE ATOMIC BOMB: AND THE ARCHITECTURE OF AN AMERICAN MYTH;as well as WHAT THEN MUST WE DO: STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT THE NEXT AMERICAN REVOLUTION; and AMERICA BEYOND CAPITALISM: RECLAIMING OUR WEALTH, OUR LIBERTY, AND OUR DEMOCRACY. Gar Alperovitz is the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change, and the democratization of wealth. He is also the co-chair of the Next System Project, a project of the Democracy Collaborative.

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I began by asking him about the Next System Project and their document, PRINCIPLES OF A PLURALIST COMMONWEALTH, and to explain what is meant by a pluralist commonwealth and what are the structural principles of what it requires?Regionalism.jpg

The House on Coco Road w/Damani Baker & Belvie Rooks

This film is so many things. It’s a family history of sorts, hence the title, THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD, but it’s also a chronicle of the historic revolution in the tiny island of Grenada by the New Jewel Movement (Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education and Liberation), co-founded by Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard, and the destabilization under the Ronald Reagan regime, leading to the invasion and overthrow of the government there. As if that weren’t enough, it also chronicles the rise – and government repression of – revolutionary Black Activism in the United States, featuring Angela Davis and her sister, Fania Davis, as well as the director’s mother, Fannie Haughton. I don’t know how they got this all into a mere 79 minutes, without making it feel rushed or overfull, but the result is a beautiful, important film rich in both historical facts and emotional, social and cultural realities.

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Damani Baker is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, who is one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 new faces in independent film”. His career spans documentaries, music videos, museum installations and advertisements. Some of Damani Baker’s documentaries include The House on Coco Road, which revisits the events and circumstances of the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada, and Return, an award-winning film that explores the genius of traditional African medicine. He directed music videos for Maiysha’s single “Wanna Be”, which was nominated for a 2009 Grammy,  and Morley’s “Women of Hope”, inspired by pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. His first feature documentary, Still Bill, was on the life and music of Bill Withers.  His current projects include over 10 films for museums in Nigeria and Chattanooga, Tennessee. These films include interviews with President Bill Clinton, Dr. Kofi Annan and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  In addition, he is a professor at Sarah Lawrence College’s Film and New Media Department, the director of the Quest forGlobal Healing Film Series in Bali, Indonesia and media collaborator with the International Budget Partnership, tracking government transparency through budgets around the world.

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Belvie Rooks is a producer of The House on Coco Road. She is Co-Founder of Growing a Global Heart. She is a writer, educator and producer whose work weaves the worlds of spirituality, feminism, ecology and social justice. She is a former board member of Bioneers, The Urban Habitat Program, and the Positive Futures Network/Yes Magazine, and is currently Chair of the Board of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, as well as a board member of the Institute for Noetic Sciences, and the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. She is a Core Faculty member of Holy Names University’s Culture and Spirituality Program.
Her published works have appeared in a number of books, publications and anthologies including: The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult by Alice Walker (Scribner); My Soul is a Witness: African American Women’s Spirituality (Beacon Press); she was Co-Editor of Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris, which was an American Book Award winner.

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Fannie Haughton is Damani Baker’s mother, whose family moved from share cropping in Louisiana to Los Angeles in the 1950s. After having been told she “wasn’t college material”, she did very well at Cal State LA & transferred to UCLA, where she met Angela Davis, becoming her Teaching Assistant, as well as life long friend and supporter. After experiencing the repression of Black Activists and the deteriorating situation in urban America in the Ronald Reagan presidency, she moved her young family to Grenada in 1982.

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Angela Davis was a young political activist and philosophy professor at UCLA, when she refused to disavow her membership in the Communist Party & was fired under the Ronald Reagan governorship. She was prosecuted for conspiracy involving the 1970 armed take-over of a Marin County, CA courthouse, in which 4 people were killed, but she was acquitted.

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Fania Davis is Angela Davis’s sister and good friend of Fannie Haughton. They considered fleeing to Cuba to avoid the repression associated when Angela went under ground after being accused of conspiracy in the George Jackson/Marin County courtroom take over.

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As Governor of CA, Ronald Reagan ordered the firing of Angela Davis from UCLA, as well as other repressive measures, including the closing of most of the state’s mental institutions, without providing for the displaced inmates.

As president, in Ronald Reagan’s imagination, the 10,000 airstrip being built on the tiny island of Grenada (12 mi x 21 mi, population 100,000) with international assistance to increase tourism, and with private firms from the U.S., Britain doing much of the work, could only be explained as Soviet/Cuban militarization. He ordered destabilization of the new government and then, an invasion by the US military.

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9 year old Damani Baker’s experience was quite the opposite. Grenada was a place safe for children, where the Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, was like an uncle, women had positions of power and health care was a right. He & his family hid under their bed during the 3 days of US bombardment of what had been their paradise.

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