Thorne Dreyer :
RAG RADIO PODCASTS | We talk politics, community, and resistance; discuss some important new books; enjoy some great live music… and much more!

Our guests are Bill Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn; Rev. Jim Rigby & Glenn Smith; Corey Dolgon; Julia Mickenberg; Scott Braddock; Jonathan Tilove; Roy Casagranda; Powell St. John & Charlie Prichard; Gordon Lafer; Eddie Wilson & Jesse Sublett; Eliza Gilkyson; Bob Libal & Alice Embree; David Messier; Jim Hightower & Beverly Shaw.

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn on Rag Radio. Photo by Carlos Lowry / The Rag Blog.

Interviews by Thorne Dreyer | The Rag Blog | June 20, 2017

The following podcasts are from recent Rag Radio shows with host Thorne Dreyer. The syndicated Rag Radio program, produced in the studios of Austin’s cooperatively-run KOOP-FM, has an international audience and has become an influential platform for interviews with leading figures in politics, current events, literature, and cutting-edge culture.


Bill Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn: ‘Demand the Impossible!’

Legendary activists and educators Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are interviewed by Rag Radio host Thorne Dreyer and writer/activist Alice Embree. They discuss Bill’s new book, Demand the Impossible!: A Radical Manifesto, and how it addresses the problems we face at this dramatic juncture in history.  Vijay Prashad calls Bill Ayers “the philosopher of the revolutionary spirit,” and Angela Davis writes that Demand the Impossible! “is a book that should be read by everyone who believes that ‘another world is possible.'”

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our June 16, 2017 Rag Radio show with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, here — or listen to it here:


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Roger Baker :
The emerging split within the U.S.
Democratic Party

The Perez wing, which is not hostile to Bernie Sanders, seems ready to discuss class oppression.

Tom Perez and Bernie Sanders at an April rally in Mesa, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr.

By Roger Baker | The Rag Blog | June 20, 2017

The Hill, which is widely read by Washington politicians and is rather centrist-liberal in character, reports on the split at the link just below.

This angry split within the Democratic Party is basically between the Hillary Clinton/Debbie Wasserman Schultz/corporate media wing of the Dems and, on the other side, the new DNC leadership wing led by Tom Perez, which is not openly hostile to Bernie Sanders (that would be hard, since Bernie is now the most popular US politician). The Perez wing seems to be ready to discuss class oppression issues, to some degree.
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James McEnteer :
Chained together in Hell: Manuel Noriega and George H.W. Bush

No one was blinder to the criminality of Noriega, who was on the CIA payroll, than George Herbert Walker Bush.

Two for the ages: Noriega and Bush. Images from Wikimedia Commons.

By James McEnteer | The Rag Blog | June 19, 2017

QUITO, Ecuador — Manuel Noriega, former president of Panama, died in prison May 28 at 83 after decades in custody. What exactly was his crime? He was a monster who turned on his enabler: George Herbert Walker Bush. Though Bush, 92, is not yet technically dead, he and Noriega will soon be chained together in Hell for all eternity.

George H.W. Bush was born not merely into wealth and privilege but into the elite financial fraternity that built the modern American national security state. His father, Prescott, along with Allen and John Foster Dulles, invested heavily in Nazi Germany, before and after the rise of Hitler. Under the Trading with the Enemy Act, the U.S. government seized the Union Banking Corporation for harboring millions in Nazi money. Prescott Bush was one of the bank’s six directors. Other companies Prescott was involved with also had their assets seized by the government.
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Steve Russell :
The downside to impeaching Trump

Rogue’s Gallery: We should all look at the presidential bullpen in constitutional order.

Sweethearts! Would Pence be better? Photo by Steve Baker / Flickr.

By Steve Russell | The Rag Blog | June 18, 2017

The investigations are scattered among the House, the Senate, and now a special prosecutor, and the rampant obstruction brings on periodic cases of Watergate déjà vu. It is becoming less and less likely that Donald J. Trump can keep the sticky stuff in the bottle. I think it’s probable that The Donald is guilty of impeachable offenses, but, like Watergate, it’s not so much the crime as the cover-up.

“High crimes and misdemeanors” are on their face broader than felonies, as Bill Clinton found out. In many states, Clinton’s perjury would not have been a felony because it did not touch a material issue in an official proceeding. If Congress were not dominated by Republicans, it would be possible (legal) to impeach Trump on the ground that he’s an inveterate liar in public matters who brings disrepute to the office.
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Harry Targ :
The political time of day: Neoliberalism, resistance, and a left yearning to grow

Progressives today must mobilize against Trumpism while articulating an alternative
political and economic analysis.

Trump time: slightly askew. Image from m01229 / Flickr.

By Harry Targ | The Rag Blog | May 30, 2017

The rift within the Democratic Party was on full display at the California Democratic Party Convention on May 19 in Sacramento, California. Progressives joined members of National Nurses United, protesting the Democratic Party establishment’s refusal to support [a] single payer health care system. Rather than follow through with Democratic rhetoric that health care is a human right, establishment Democrats have responded to voters by scolding and attacking them.
— Michael Sainato, “Tom Perez Bombs Speech, California Dem Chair Tells Protesters ‘Shut the F* Up,’” Observer, May 20, 2017.

The new Trump administration is embroiled in a series of crises, with new ones emerging on almost a daily basis. The president is bombastic, ill-informed, and narcissistic. In response to his critics he engages in dangerous and unconventional efforts to transform the dominant narrative about his incompetence. He has authorized ruthless bombings in Syria and Afghanistan and threatened war against enemies such as North Korea.

More recently, in his diplomatic trip to the Middle East and Europe, he has reached a deal to sell $110 billion in weaponry to a Saudi Arabian regime which supports terrorism throughout the Middle East and a devastating bombing campaign against Yemen. And at home he has appointed cabinet members and advisors with long histories of white supremacy and anti-Semitism (almost in defiance of accepted minimal qualifications for public office).
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Alan Waldman :
TELEVISION | ‘The Detectorists’ is a sly, deadpan Britcom with many unexpected laughs

Two odd Brit zanies with metal detectors lead a fun cast in this ribald rural romp.

By Alan Waldman | The Rag Blog | May 29, 2017

[In his Rag Blog column, Alan Waldman reviews some of his favorite films and TV series that readers may have missed, including TV dramas, mysteries, and comedies from Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. Most are available on DVD, Netflix and/or Netflix Instant Streaming, and some episodes are on YouTube.]

Mackenzie Crook, who performed in the three Pirates of the Caribbean flicks, Game of Thrones, and the original British version of The Office, wrote and directed all 13 episodes of the droll English sitcom The Detectorists, which won the 2015 BAFTA Best Scripted Comedy award. It also garnered his brilliant co-star Toby Jones a 2016 BAFTA Best Comedy Performer nomination and the 2015 Broadcasting Press Guild Best Actor Award. It’s very funny stuff that sneaks up on you from the side.
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Marilyn Katz :
To impeach or not to impeach? That is not
the question.

Like a horrific accident on the highway, Trump now serves as a dangerous distraction.

Donald Trump. Carictature by DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons.

By Marilyn Katz | The Rag Blog | May 29, 1917

CHICAGO — The daily revelations of the entanglement of Trump’s entourage have Republicans squirming and Democrats salivating at the smell of blood in the water. Former boogeymen like the CIA and the FBI have suddenly become heroes to liberals. After years of relative quietude, Russia has emerged once again as the evil empire, as if we were living in the height of the Cold War.

Even progressives have not been immune, with thoughtful In These Times writers like Kate Aronoff and Jeff Alson spending their considerable brain power on weighing the danger, in the case of Alson, and benefit, as Aronoff sees it, of impeachment.

While the speculation is entertaining — and great for the bookmakers in Vegas — for progressives and others who take care about the future of the nation and the world, this almost singular focus on Trump and impeachment is both mistaken and dangerous. Like a horrific accident on the highway that commands everyone’s attention, Trump now serves as a dangerous distraction.
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David P. Hamilton :
How Emmanuel Macron won and how
he will govern

Macron is a centrist neoliberal who favors unregulated capitalism.

Emmanuel Macron. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

By David P. Hamilton | The Rag Blog | May 23, 2017

PARIS — Emmanuel Macron is a clever guy, as befits his history of being an outstanding student at all the top French schools. He has recognized a central axiom of electoral strategy: that your approach to an electoral campaign depends on the relative vibrancy of your democracy.

If you are in a race that will have a 10% turnout of the eligible voters, you mobilize your base and forget the center, which is insignificant in a race between partisan activists. In that case, the electorate is not a bell curve. Conversely, if you are in an election where 90% of the people are going to vote, the center is indeed the most numerous sector of the electorate and one must moderate positions accordingly.
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Allen Young :
BOOKS | ‘The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture’ reviews the ‘Rag’ book

‘The book is a valuable resource, offering readers an excellent…overview of what the 1960s counter-culture and political movements…were all about.’

The prestigious Sixties journal has reviewed Celebrating The Rag.

By Allen Young | The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture | First published online 17 Apr 2017


This article was first published in The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture, Vol 9, No 2, and was published on The Rag Blog, April 28, 2017.


Celebrating The Rag: Austin’s Iconic Underground Newspaper, edited by Thorne Webb Dreyer, Alice Embree and Richard Croxdale, designed by Carlos Lowry, Austin, TX, Lulu, 2016, 316 pages, US$25.00 (paperback), ISBN-10-1365390543

Here are some of the words and phrases used by veteran radical journalist Thorne Webb Dreyer, to describe the underground press of the 1960s: “raggedy upstart newspapers,” legendary, trailblazer, freaky, raving, irreverent, revolutionary and more (4).

“And one uppity little tabloid way down yonder in Austin, Texas, would be a very influential player in the rich if relatively short-lived odyssey of the underground press,” Dreyer proclaimed in the first chapter of Celebrating the Rag. (4)

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Harry Targ :
The neocons, the humanitarian interventionists, and the new Trump

His foreign policy combines the worst aspects of the two factions of the foreign policy establishment.

Donald Trump, warrior. Caricature by DonkeyHotey / Wikimedia Commons.

By Harry Targ | The Rag Blog | April 19, 2017

Although most progressives preferred a Hillary Clinton victory in the 2016 election, strong reservations about her candidacy existed because of her historic association with foreign policies promoting the globalization of violence, war, and covert operations in countries which challenged the neoliberal policy agenda.

Candidate Trump made bold statements about avoiding escalation of United States involvement in Syria, staying out of the perpetual tensions on the Korean peninsula, pulling the plug on NATO, and opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Most of all Trump seemed to strike a rational chord with his call for improving relations with Russia.
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Carlos Rumbaut :
VERSE | Republic

Public shore marker, San Francisco Bay, Burlingame, California. Photo by Michael C. Berch / Wikimedia Commons.

 

Republic

We are the public.
As in public health and public education.
As in public parks and public transportation.
Public safety, public libraries, public funding for the arts,
public assistance, public discourse,
public outcry and public demonstrations.
We are the public. We are growing stronger.
We are finding our courage and our voice.

There are a thousand paths to the Resistance.
A myriad different ways to say, No Way.
Countless things to do to counter what is brewing.

The best way to resist? To live your values
every day, no matter where you are.
Do that, and you sabotage the system
of one man claiming to have all the plans.
Every chance you get, speak truth to power.
Every time you can, call out their lies.
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Alan Waldman :
TELEVISION | ‘Marcella’ is a twisty 8-part U.K. mystery from a popular Swedish writer

Anna Friel is a female detective with memory problems who suspects she may have killed her husband’s lover.

By Alan Waldman | The Rag Blog | April 8, 2017

[In his Rag Blog column, Alan Waldman reviews some of his favorite films and TV series that readers may have missed, including TV dramas, mysteries, and comedies from Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. Most are available on DVD, Netflix and/or Netflix Instant Streaming, and some episodes are on YouTube.]

Marcella is a smart, involving, British eight-parter in which female former investigator Marcella Backland (Anna Friel) is called back to solve a multiple murder that closely resembles one she tackled 11 years ago. She is disturbed to learn that the serial killer’s fourth victim is a woman Marcella’s husband Jason (Nicholas Pinnock) was having a three-year affair with and whom she confronted the night before her death. Only now she can’t remember clearly.
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