KPFA: Letters and Politics [Program Feed]

  • Anti-Semitism and Its History
    A conversation on antisemitism, it's history and the most recent controversy concerning Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), one of the two Muslim women to have serve in Congress.  Last week in a series of tweets suggested that AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) use money in order to influence U.S. policy to defend Israel. Representative Omar was widely condemned including by democrat speaker Nancy Pelosi for being antisemitic. Others however have rallied behind Omar saying there's nothing wrong with pointing out AIPAC's influence on Capitol Hill. Guest: Dr. Penny Rosenwasser [1] is a social justice activist. She is the author of the book Hope Into Practice: Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears. [1]
  • Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America
    Before the Civil War, colonization schemes and black laws threatened to deport former slaves born in the United States. We talk to Martha S. Jones about how African American remade national belonging through battles in legislatures, conventions, and courthouses and reclaim their right to citizenship. Guest: Martha S. Jones [1] is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, and Co-President of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. She is the author of Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America. [1]
  • The Greatest Uprising of Working People in American History
    At the pinnacle of the Gilded Age, a boycott of Pullman sleeping cars by hundreds of thousands of railroad employees brought commerce to a standstill across much of the country. Famine threatened, riots broke out along the rail lines. Soon the U.S. Army was on the march and gunfire rang from the streets of major cities. Two iconic characters of the age: George Pullman, who amassed a fortune by making train travel a pleasure, thought the model town that he built for his workers would erase urban squalor.  And Eugene Debs, founder of the nation’s first industrial union, was determined to wrench power away from the reigning plutocrats. The clash between the two men’s conflicting ideals pushed the country to what the U.S. Attorney General called “the ragged edge of anarchy.”  President Grover Cleveland in 1894 worried about a national insurrection as the country grapple with a deep depression. Guest: Jack Kelly is a journalist, novelist, and historian, whose books include Band of Giants, which received the DAR's History Award Medal, Heaven's Ditch and his latest that we are in conversation about, The Edge of Anarchy: The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America
  • Vandana Shiva and Vijaya Nagarajan: Women, Ritual and Ecology in India
    A conversation with Vandana Shiva and Vijaya Nagarajan about climate change, women of the world, religious rituals, and how they all go together. Guest: Vijaya Nagarajan is an associate professor in the Department of Theology/Religious Studies and in the Program of Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of the book Feeding a Thousand Souls: Women, Ritual, and Ecology in India- An Exploration of the Kolam. Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and alter-globalization author. Currently based in Delhi, she has authored more than twenty books, Including Who Really Feeds the World?, The Failures of Agribusiness and the Promise of Agroecology and Making Peace with the Earth. She is one of the leaders and board members of the International Forum on Globalization and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement.  
  • Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Heritage and the Issue about Tribal Citizenship
    This weekend Senator Elizabeth Warren is expected to formally announce her candidacy for the democratic nomination for presidency. Today we are in conversation with Jacqueline Keeler about Warren's controversies of her Native American heritage, the issue about tribal citizenship and the history behind all this. Guest: Jacqueline Keeler is a Diné/Ihanktonwan Dakota writer and contributor to many publications including Yes! Magazine, Truthout, The Nation and others.  She is the editor of “Edge of Morning: Native Voices Speak for the Bears Ears.” Her piece about Elizabeth Warren and her Native American heritage can be found here [1]. Then, The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown by Journalist Blaire Briody [2].     [1] [2]
  • A History of The National Emergencies Act of 1976
    President Trump last night in the State of the Union Address did not invoke, nor that he threaten to use a declaration of a national emergency in order to get his wall in the U.S. southern border. It is still possible he can still use his power and use this recourse in the next week and a half before the deadline comes for another government shutdown. Today, we are in conversation about the law that gives the president such authority: the National Emergencies Act of 1976. Guest: Brianne Gorod, is chief counsel of the Constitutional Accountability Center [1]. She is a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Her piece on this issue can be found here The National Emergencies Act Is Not a Blank Check. [2]     [1] [2]
  • A Proposal to Restore America’s Moral Imagination
    On today's show we sit down with Robert Reich [1], former Labor Secretary and currently the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley.  We'll have a wide ranging conversation on the economy from the creation of some 300,000 jobs in January to current U.S. Tax structure and the proposed 70% tax rate for the wealthiest and to whether Medicare for All is feasible in an American economy.  We'll also discuss potential precedents set during the Trump Presidency, tonight's state of the union address and the field of democratic presidential candidates for 2020. Robert Reich is the author of a number of books including his latest The Common Good.      A look at burning political issues and debates and their historical context within the US and worldwide, hosted by Mitch Jeserich. [1]
  • What’s Going On with Trump’s International Policy?
    Today we talk in-depth about the latest on the US foreign affairs of the Trump administration, from withdrawing US troops from Syria, to the U.S. recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, to the U.S. announcing plans to withdraw from a corner stone nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Guest: Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent and the author of several books including The Brothers, Reset, Overthrow, All the Shah’s Men, The True Flag. He is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.  
  • Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Return of the Far Right
    A conversation about two legendary German philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger, and how their ideas have influenced today's far right-wing ideologues such as Richard Spencer, Aleksandr Dugin, and Steve Bannon. Guest: Ronald Beiner is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto and author of numerous books, including Political Philosophy: What It Is and Why It Matters and Civil Religion: A Dialogue in the History of Political Philosophy.      
  • Letters and Politics – January 30, 2019
    A look at burning political issues and debates and their historical context within the US and worldwide, hosted by Mitch Jeserich.
  • Letters and Politics – January 29, 2019
    A look at burning political issues and debates and their historical context within the US and worldwide, hosted by Mitch Jeserich.
  • Letters and Politics – January 28, 2019
    A look at burning political issues and debates and their historical context within the US and worldwide, hosted by Mitch Jeserich.
  • Radical Politics in the Age of Donald Trump
    Today we are in with  conversation with one of the most radical activist and voices in the country, Rosa Clemente [1] is a community organizer, independent journalist, and hip-hop activist. She was the vice presidential running mate of 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney in the 2008 U.S.   [1]
  • A History of the American Opioid Epidemic
    Today Chris McGreal helps understand how the opioid addiction became a catastrophic and deadly epidemic in America.  He argues that the epidemic was born of Congressional neglect, amplified by corporate greed, and brutally exploited by illegal drug cartels. Guest: Chris McGreal is a senior writer at the Guardian and former journalist for BBC. He has published several articles on the opioid epidemic in America. His latest book is American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts.  
  • Ralph Nader on the Government Shutdown. Then, The Senate Immigration Bill
    We talk to Ralph Nader [1] about the government shutdown -in its 32nd day already, and about his book To the Ramparts: How Bush And Obama Paved The Way For The Trump Presidency, And Why Ii Isn't Too Late To Reverse Course. Ralph Nader [2] has spent his lifetime challenging corporations and government agencies to be more accountable to the public.  To the Ramparts shows us how unchecked corporate power has led to the wrecking ball that is the Trump presidency. Nader brings together the outrages of the Trump administration with the key flaws and failures of the previous administrations—both Republican and Democratic—that have led our nation to its current precipice. It’s all in the details and Ralph Nader knows them all. Trump didn’t come out of nowhere. Bush and Obama led the way.   Then, we speak to Cathi Tactaquin, Executive Director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She gives an update of what the Senate Bill on immigration is about and what Trump proposes to negotiate for his wall.  Catherine Tactaquin is Executive Director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. [1] [2]

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