Recent Posts

7 Questions for Bill Maher: The Nation 5/1

Q. You do live shows all over the place. What’s it like to do your left-wing live show in a right-wing state like Alabama?
A. 
I’ve been to Alabama twice this year. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve yet to find a place in America that’s so backward I can’t find two or three thousand screaming liberals to come out on a Friday night and cheer for the blue team. I think they’re gratified to look around the room and see so many people who they didn’t realize live in their area and think like they do.
. . . . continued at The Nation, HERE

It’s May 1–Happy, er, Loyalty Day! TheNation, May 1.

For more than a century, May 1 has been celebrated as International Workers’ Day. It’s a national holiday in more than eighty countries. But here in the land of the free, May 1 has been officially declared “Loyalty Day” by President Obama. It’s a day “for the reaffirmation of loyalty”—not to the international working class, but to the United States of America.
. . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

Sandra Tsing Loh, “The Madwoman in the Volvo”: KPFK 4/30

LISTEN online HERE iTunes podcastHERE
SANDA TSING LOH
talks about her “year of raging hormones”–and about middle-aged women, America’s largest demographic group.  She’s an award-winning author, a contributing editor of The Atlantic, and host of “The Loh Down on Science,” heard on the radio weekly by four million people. Her new book is The Madwoman in the Volvo.  Sandra will be reading and signing Thurs May 1 in Pasadena, ticket info HERE.

Also: LA’s sky-high rents – and what to do about them:  HAROLD MEYERSON has some ideas.  Harold writes a column for the Washington Post op-ed page, he’s editor-at-large for The American Prospect, and he wrote about rents in LA for the LA Times.

Plus: PETER VAN BUREN is the State Department whistleblower who wrote We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People.  After the State Dept. fired him, he got the only job he could find as an ex-whistleblower.  We’ll talk to him about “Life in the New American Minimum-Wage Economy” – he wrote about it for TomDispatch.com.

Bohemians Then and Now: KPFK 4/23

LISTEN online HEREiTunes podcast HERE
Hipsters, jazzmen, underground poets, artists
in garrets – Bohemians all, and they are the subject of a wonderful new graphic book by PAUL BUHLE and an all-star cast of comic artists: Bohemians.
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Also: OLIVER SACKS, the legendary neurologist and New Yorker writer, on tripping in Topanga in the ’60s–his book Hallucinations is out now in paperback.
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Plus: black musical anthems – songs of solidarity and citizenship, from “Lift Every Voice” to “Young, Gifted and Black.”  We’ll listen to some music–including Kim Weston, Paul Robeson and Nina Simone–and talk about it with SHANA REDMOND –she teaches American studies at USC, and her new book is Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora.

We’re the Asteroid: Elizabeth Kolbert Q&A on Species Extinction — TheNation 4/22

Q. The last wave of extinctions came when an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs and their world. What’s different about the species extinction that threatens now?
A. Scientists say now we’re the asteroid. This extinction event is unique because it’s being caused by a living thing
. . . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

9 Questions for Errol Morris: The Nation 4/17

Jon Wiener: Donald Rumsfeld grins a lot in your movie “The Unknown Known.”  The most memorable thing about this film is his grin. What do you make of it?
Errol Morris: Supreme self-satisfaction. Cluelessness. Inability to deal with the reality of what he’s done.
continued at The Nation, HERE or HERE

Climate change & mass extinction: KPFK 4/16

LISTEN online HERE— iTunes podcast HERE
The sad and gripping facts of our moment on earth: how climate change is bringing the most devastating loss of species diversity since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.  ELIZABETH KOLBERT of The New Yorker has the facts; her new book is THE SIXTH EXTINCTION.
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Also: the man who discovered global warming: actor/activist MIKE FARRELL will explain.  He’ll star in  “Dr. Keeling’s Curve”,  at Cal Tech on Earth Day,  Apr 22 at 8pm.  Ticket info HERE.
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Plus: Life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina: SHERI FINK of the New York Times tells that harrowing story in her book FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL.  She won the NBCC Nonfiction prize, the LA Times Current Interest prize, and the Ridenhour Prize awarded by The Nation Institute.

Bill Maher and Errol Morris: KPFK 4/9

LISTEN online HERE— iTunes podcast HERE
BILL MAHER
, host of “Real Time” on HBO, talks about political humor on TV, and what it’s like doing his live stand-up show around the country.  We’ll also talk about his interviews with Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange, and Jimmy Carter.

Plus: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief : LAWRENCE WRIGHT talks about the inner workings of the church.

Also: ERROL MORRIS is the legendary documentary filmmaker whose new film is THE UNKNOWN KNOWN – it’s his debate with Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense for George W. Bush and one of the people responsible for our war in Iraq.  Errol Morris won an Oscar for his film, The Fog of War, featuring Robert MacNamara and his regret for the war in Vietnam.
The new film is playing in theaters now, and is available as video on demand.  WATCH the trailer HERE

Gore Vidal: At 10, I Wanted to Be Mickey Rooney: TheNation 4/7

Mickey Rooney, who died April 6, had many fans, including 10-year-old Gore Vidal. “What I really wanted to be,” Vidal wrote in his memoir Point to Point Navigation, “was a movie star: specifically, I wanted to be Mickey Rooney.” The inspiration? Not the “Hey kids, let’s put on a show” musicals Rooney made for MGM with Judy Garland—it was his role as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Max Reinhardt and released in 1935, when Rooney was 14. “I wanted to play Puck, as he had,” Vidal recalled.
. . . continued at TheNation.com HERE

When Peter Matthiessen Was Silenced by his Publisher: The Nation 4/7

Peter Matthiessen, the legendary writer who died April 5, had one of his most important books withdrawn from publication for seven years as a result of attacks by government officials and the cowardice of his publisher, Viking Penguin.

It’s a story overlooked in many of the obits. Published in 1983, In The Spirit of Crazy Horse provided a passionate and solidly documented account of the events that culminated in a 1975 gun battle on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota between FBI agents and members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) that left two agents and one Indian dead. . . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE.