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Visionaries – 10.16.17

“Virginia Postrel.” Virginia is an author, columnist, and speaker who looks at a broad range of topics, from social science to fashion, concentrating on the intersection of culture, commerce, and technology. She is the author of “The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion,” “The Substance of Style,” and “The Future and Its Enemies.” Download this episode …

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GERALD SUSSMAN – American Elections: Weapons of Mass Distraction

Now that the agitprop babble of the conventions is behind us, we might ask, what is all this showman/woman/ship all about? Does the election of the president even matter? On some level perhaps, but the main utility of presidential elections is simply that it’s a weapon of mass distraction – creating a fiction that presidents actually rule and that voters …

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Arn Pearson – CMD Exclusive: Why I Chose to Get Arrested in Defense of Our Democracy

On Monday, I joined hundreds of fellow citizens who were arrested as part of a non-violent act of civil disobedience on the steps of our U.S. Capitol. I stood with people of all ages and all walks of life as part of a growing movement to reclaim an America that guarantees the unimpeded right to vote for all and a …

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Why I Left the Right: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal

It was January 20, 2001, and I was at George W. Bush’s inaugural ball. I had spent months campaigning for him, and it had not been easy. After the Florida electoral debacle complete with “hanging chads,” Katherine Harris (and her 15 minutes of shame), and ultimately the Supreme Court’s Bush v. Gore decision, I was finally enjoying the fruits of …

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kristina marusic – Almost 400 Anti-Abortion Bills Were Introduced In The U.S. In 2015

Choosing whether or not to have children is a constitutional right for women in the U.S. Since anti-choice activists can’t undo the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that recognized that fact, they’ve partnered with lawmakers across the country in their efforts to gradually chip away at that right on a state-by-state level — with an alarming rate of aggressiveness in 2015.  According to a …

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This Can’t Be Happening – 11.04.15

Host Dave Lindorff and guest Linn Washington, a Philly-based investigative reporter and colleague of Dave’s on the news site thiscantbehapppening.net, discuss Tuesday’s election results in Pennsylvania and recent comments by Supreme Court Justices Breyer and Scalia, all suggesting that a historic moment has arrived in which the US death penalty obsession may finally be ended. Lindorff notes that in Pennsylvania voters elected three new state supreme court judges, all liberal Democrats who owe their win in considerable part to black and other minority voters in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other urban areas of the state. Washington, who has written extensively about the state’s racist death penalty system, withthe fourth-largest death row in the nation, and says that with Democrats now in a 5-2 majority on the formerly Republican high court, and with the new Democratic governor already having imposed a moratorium on the death penalty, it could be that the death penalty could be ruled unconstitutional under the state’s constitution. Meanwhile Justice Breyer has virtually called for a test case to be brought to the Supreme Court this year, and Justice Scalia, a staunch backer of execution, has stated publicly that he thinks the votes are there now to declare the death penalty in the US unconstitutional.

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Black Agenda Radio – 09.07.15

– The number of inmates in solitary confinement in California’s prisons should be sharply reduced following settlement of a suit brought by prisoners. California leads the nation in the number of inmates held in solitary confinement, with nearly 3,000 prisoners languishing in isolation. The Center for Constitutional Rights represented the inmates in court. We spoke with the Center’s deputy legal director, Alexi Agathocleous.

– Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser was shouted down by protesters when she announced draconian proposals that would target each of the city’s 10,000 people on parole or probation for surprise searches by police, on the street or in their homes, night or day. Ex-offender found to be in violation of any of a long list of rules, could be detained for 72 hours, and then put on a path back to prison. Mayor Bowser claims she’s just responding to a rising homicide rate.

– Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is an activist with the Hands Up Coalition-DC and an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. She calls Mayor Bowser’s plan The Fugitive Slave Act of 2015.

– Ajamu Baraka is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. Baraka is a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. He currently lives in Colombia, South America, where he recently took part in a conference of the principal Afro-Colombian self-determinationist organization, the Black Communities Process, or PCN. Colombia is the United States’ closest ally in the region, and holds the world’s record for killing labor organizers. It is second only to Syria in the number of internally displaced persons, most of them Afro-Colombians driven from their traditional lands. Ajamu Baraka says Colombia is one of the most important countries in the African diaspora.

– An independent, Black-produced film on the Ferguson rebellion is making the rounds, this summer. We spoke with producer and director Ralph L. Crowder the Third about his latest documentary, titled, “Hands Up Don’t Shoot Our Youth Movement.”

– Resistance to standardized testing in the public schools is growing by leaps and bounds. Much of the momentum is centered in mostly white suburban districts, but more Black and brown parents are deciding to OPT their children OUT of the high-stakes testing regime. About 20 percent of New York state public school students opted out, in the past school year. Peter Farruggio is on the faculty of the University of Texas, Pan American campus. He’s a long-time educator and anti-privatization activist. We asked Dr. Farruggio if the Opt-Out campaign has gotten big enough to be called a movement.

The Violence of Police Politics Posted By Steve Martinot

Insofar as the state, and the prison administration, know that solitary confinement drives people insane through isolation and torture, its use signifies that the state desires this outcome. That is a political desire, a desire to do irrevocable damage to people. It happens silently, as punishment for thinking autonomously, for self-respect against the violence of imprisonment, as a political stance. …

The Fight Over Obamacare Was a Giant Political Charade By Sonali Kolhatkar

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 25 that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) subsidies for health insurance for the poor were indeed constitutional, liberals cheered. The last-ditch attempt by the right to gut President Obama’s signature act failed. In his weekly address, Obama triumphantly announced that “after more than fifty votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law; …