Recent Posts

Victory for the Carwasheros: KPFK 4/8

LISTEN online HERE  iTunes podcast HERE
The victory of the carwasheros! HAROLD MEYERSON
analyzes the unionization of LA carwashes, notorious for paying low wages—and no wages. How did they do it? State government played a crucial role. Harold wrote about the carwasheros for The American Prospect.
April 15 demo in LA for low wage workers: info at

Plus It’s the 150th anniversary of The Nation magazine. Editor and publisher KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL talks about the magnificent 268-page special issue that’s out now, and the celebration tomorrow/Thurs. night in LA at the Hammer Museum, Wilshire & Westwood, 7:30pm, the one-night, west coast premiere of Oscar-winner Barbara Kopple’s documentary “Hot Type” about magazine, followed by talk-back with Barbara Kopple, Katrina vanden Heuvel and Amy Wilentz–and also Norman Lear. This event is free but tickets are required–available at the Hammer box office one hour before the program.

On the Run in Black America: KPFK 4/1

LISTEN online HERE  iTunes podcast HERE
What “getting tough on crime” has meant for one black community in Philadelphia
: sociologist ALICE GOFFMAN spent six years seeing the young black men around her stopped, searched, raided, and beaten by the police. Her book is ON THE RUN: Fugitive Life in an American City—it’s out now in paperback—it’s “astonishing—and riveting.” – New York Times Book Review.

How the Vietnam war redefined our nation: on the 50th anniversary of the start of the war,  CHRISTIAN APPY talks about the continuing struggles over its meaning and legacy. His new book is AMERICAN RECKINING: The Vietnam War and our National Identity.  READ Chris Appy at HERE

Why do intelligent people join Scientology—and why do they stay? Oscar-winning documentarian ALEX GIBNEY interviewed eight high-ranking people who left, and who provide some explanations. His documentary GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY and the Prison of Belief is playing on HBO now.
WATCH the trailer HERE.

It’s time to end college tuition–and abolish student debt: The Nation 3/23

The mother of all problems in higher education today is high tuition at public colleges and universities, which forces students into decades of debt and makes for-profit schools seem like a plausible alternative.  Making four years of college free is not only fair; it’s also politically possible.
. . . continued at The Nation, HERE

Barney Frank’s ‘Stupidest’ Decision:, 3/20

One of the “stupidest” decisions Barney Frank ever made, he says in his new memoir, Frank: A Life in Politics, was bringing Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to Harvard in the fall of 1966, at the height of the Vietnam War. I agree; I was there. But the story Frank tells in his book is, to put it generously, incomplete. What he did was even stupider than he acknowledges.
–continued at, HERE

How the CIA took over the National Student Assn: KPFK 3/18

LISTEN online HERE  iTunes podcast HERE
How the CIA turned the National Student Association into a covert operational weapon in the Cold War—and how Ramparts magazine exposed the deception in 1967: KAREN PAGET tells that story. Her new book is Patriotic Betrayal.

Plus: Bibi Netanyahu won the Israeli elections — after coming out against Palestinian statehood.  It’s hard to think of an uglier victory in recent history.  HAROLD MEYERSON will comment: he wrote about the election for the Washington Post: HERE.

Also: GEORGE PELECANOS worked as a line cook, bartender, and woman’s shoe salesman before publishing his first novel in 1992. He was also a producer and writer for The Wire on HBO, and a producer and writer for the HBO series Treme—two of the greatest things ever on TV. Now he’s published his first collection of short stories – it’s called The Martini Shot.


Break-in at the FBI: KPFK 3/11

LISTEN online HERE  iTunes podcast HERE
Burglary at the FBI: Media, PA, 1971
: we’ll speak with one of the burglars, Bonnie Raines, who stole documents that revealed massive FBI abuse of power, including COINTELPRO. The book is The Burglary—we’ll also be speaking with the author Betty Medsger. The film 1971 about the break-in opens Friday at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills. WATCH the trailer HERE.
Also: 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese are still coping with unexploded bombs and Agent Orange. George Black will report—he has the cover story this week in The Nation.
SUPPORT Project Renew in Vietnam: HERE.
Plus: a new kind of civil disobedience: a student debt strike. Students are refusing to make any more payments on their federal student loans. Astra Taylor will explain – she’s a filmmaker and activist, and she wrote about the debt strike for the New York Times op-ed page, HERE.


Our Age of Acquiescence: LA Times 2/22

Republicans condemn Obama for “class warfare,” but the charge is laughable if you know anything about the American past–or about our present “Age of Acquiescence.”
my review of Steve Fraser’s book in the LA Times Book Review, HERE

Why Publish an op-ed by Obama? LA Times 2/20

Obama has the biggest megaphone on the planet, he is on Page 1 every day of the year, and the op-ed page is for other perspectives.  Nevertheless the LA Times published an op-ed piece of his–one that presents thoroughly familiar liberal common sense.  . . .
My exchange with Nick Goldberg: HERE

Gitmo Diary Q&A: The Nation 2/5

Guantánamo Diary is the only written account by a Guantánamo detainee who is still imprisoned there: Mohamedou Ould Slahi. John le Carré calls the book “a vision of hell, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka: perpetual torture prescribed by the mad doctors in Washington.” We spoke with Slahi’s attorney, Nancy Hollander, and his editor, Larry Siems.
JW: Who is Mohamedou Slahi, and how did he end up in Gitmo?
Larry Siems:
Mohamedou is a 44-year-old man from Mauritania. He went to Afghanistan as a young man to join the fight against the communists there. To do that, he trained at an Al Qaeda camp and pledged loyalty to Al Qaeda. He has said repeatedly that he broke all ties with them after the communist government there collapsed in 1992.
. . . .continued at HERE