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Program Archives - 1999

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20/27 Dec 991203 / 991204 Barbara Bernstein - The Malling of America (Pts. 1 and 2)

Growth in the West is like the weather. Everybody talks about it, but nobody seems to know what to do about it. In Phoenix, Arizona where the dust from endless subdivision construction has become a major public health hazard, the city and county respond to this hazard by creating dust patrols and wetting down unpaved roads with that rarest of desert commodities, water. Everybody talks about the problems of exponential growth in the West, pollution, congestion, traffic, but talk about solutions and many Westerners give you a blank stare or argue that you're messing with their private property rights. In the face of those blank stares, Alternative Radio presents The Malling of America, a special two-part documentary that confronts this issue head on. Part One takes us on a road trip through the mountains and canyons of Colorado and Utah, looking for what's left of the west of open space and rugged wildlands. Part Two reaches the West Coast to visit two places that have been living with strict land use planning regulations for twenty five years. Affluent Marin County, which created its county-wide plan in 1973, has experienced almost no growth in the past 25 years and preserved much of its farmland and open space. During the same time, Oregon instituted a statewide land use plan that has limited sprawl and preserved farm and forest lands. But unlike Marin County, Oregon has been experiencing enormous growth pressures in the past 8 years and is finally watching the effectiveness of its land use plan being put to an actual test. These experiments in planning for growth are contrasted with the hundred miles of sprawl that has swallowed farms and natural areas all along the Wasatch Front in Utah and the Front Range of Colorado. In the course of this journey we come to understand the myriad of issues that are all part of the discussion of growth. How do questions of race and class shape the debate around 'livable communities' and affordable housing? What is a landscape's principal value: as an economic resource or as a source of natural habitat, beauty and spiritual connection?

Barbara Bernstein is a nationally acclaimed radio producer. Recipient of many awards, she is one of this country's finest independent producers.

13 Dec 991202 Bill McKibben - Livable Cities: Creating a Sustainable Urban Environment

Few cities in the US are immune from the impact of urban sprawl. That quiet house with a yard, that piece of the country close to the city, comes with a high price as roads, subdivisions and shopping malls gobble up farmland and open space. Then there's the commute. It's not uncommon for people to spend an hour each way driving to and from work every day. The planet pays a high price. All those cars driving across our sprawling cities are a top contributor to the build-up of gases in the atmosphere linked to global climate change.

Bill McKibben, a former staff writer at The New Yorker, first sounded the alarm on global climate change with his best-selling book The End of Nature. He is one of America's leading journalists on the environment. Other books include The Age of Missing Information and Hope: Human and Wild. His articles appear in many major newspapers and national magazines.

6 Dec 991201 Charlie Kernaghan - The Human Face of the Global Economy

When you go down to your nearest mall and shop for clothes you are looking for the best price. If you can get a name brand all the better. Few consider who makes that shirt, sweater, or pair of jeans or sneakers. Evidence has mounted in the past couple of years that a lot of the clothing and shoes we buy from companies like Nike are made under dreadful sweatshop conditions by poorly paid workers, many of them children, in Third World countries.

Charlie Kernaghan is the executive director of the National Labor Committee, an independent, human rights organisation based in New York. He is prominent in the movement in drawing attention to and correcting the overseas labor practices of US corporations. The New York Times calls him "the labor movement's mouse that roared."

29 Nov 991108 Noam Chomsky - Globalisation: The New Face of Capitalism

Globalisation is hailed by the pundits as an irresistible natural force. It's like gravity, they say. Just accept it and go on with your life. A contrary view says this international economic order is nothing more than old wine in a new bottle. Powerful transnational institutions like the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are the main instruments and implementors of globalisation. Nations and communities trying to maintain sovereignty, protect human rights and preserve the environment are under attack as they confront the latest version of capitalism.

Noam Chomsky, internationally renowned MIT professor, has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for more than four decades. He is in such demand as a public speaker that he is often booked years in advance. And wherever he appears, he draws huge audiences. The Guardian calls him, "One of the radical heroes of our age." He is the author of Power and Terror, Middle East Illusion and Hegemony or Survival." He's done a series of interview books with David Barsamian including The Common Good and Propaganda and the Public Mind.

22 Nov 991107 Pheobe Schellenberg Home Economics: The Sweat Off Her Brow

Even though the Commerce Department puts the value of housework to the US economy at $1.46 billion, women at home with children are not working hard enough to register in the hearts and minds of Congress, who still equate staying home with being lazy. Oddly enough, if a mother gets a job outside the home and someone else cares for her children, they are both considered productive workers. But if mom stays home with the kids, there is no compensation. Some other countries acknowledge the value of this work and pay a family allowance to women with children. But in the US, with the strongest economy in the world, women work a double day.

Pheobe Schellenberg is co-coordinator of the Wages for Housework Campaign. She argues that if people are the end and the aim of production, then caring for people is productive work and should be viewed as such.

15 Nov 991106 David Korten - The Post-Corporate World

The claim that capitalism is the embodiment of democracy and that open markets are the equivalent to freedom is constant and goes virtually unchallenged. The way the story goes is, unleashed from the oppressive hand of government regulation, the invisible hand of the market enables corporations to bring prosperity to all. In this period of where corporations seemingly rule the world is there an alternative vision?

David Korten did his graduate work at Stanford. He taught at the Harvard Business School. An insider in the development establishment for about thirty years, he worked for the Ford Foundation and the US Agency for International Development. Having severed his ties to the past, today he is president of the People-Centered Development Forum. He is the author of When Corporations Rule the World and The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism.

8 Nov 991105 Kevin Danaher - Corporate Accounting vs. Corporate Accountability

Mega-corporations now dominate the international economy. This development, under the rubric of globalisation, is heralded by the White House, Wall Street, and the media. They say it's a good thing. Villagers in poor Third World countries get the opportunity to earn and improve their lives. Critics contend that not only are those villagers exploited but that corporations weaken democracy, undermine workers and unions and threaten the environment.

Kevin Danaher is co-founder and public education director of Global Exchange, the San Francisco-based non-profit organisation that led the campaign that exposed Nike's use of sweatshop labor and promotes grassroots, citizen-oriented efforts in international trade. He is the author of Corporations Are Gonna Get Your Mama, 50 Years Is Enough, Globalise This! and Democratising the Global Economy.

1 Nov 991101 Dan Schiller - Digital Capitalism

The telephone seems to be everywhere, not just in the home and workplace, but in the car and in the pockets of millions of telephone customers. The growing use of the telephone is increasingly a global phenomenon. Less than half of the world's main telephone lines are in Western Europe and the United States. Asian, South American and the Middle Eastern countries have also expanded their telecommunications infrastructure. Dan Schiller says that this rapid growth didn't occur just so we could all talk to each other. Behind all these phones is a network that moves money and information around the globe in a blink of an eye. It's the electronic infrastructure of economic globalisation.

Dan Schiller is Professor of Communications at the University of California at San Diego. He is the author of Digital Capitalism.

25 Oct 991003 Bob Ortega - The Wal-Marting of America

The United States is the largest consumer-based economy in the world. Shopping is a national pastime, and how we shop, what we buy and how it is sold is high science studied by everyone from market researchers to child psychologists. But no one gets as many Americans reaching for their wallets every day as Sam Walton and Wal-Mart. Americans will spend over $140 billion at the store this year, and Wal-Mart is now the largest retailer in the world, with more income than 161 countries. Many retailers are forced to adopt the Wal-Mart model in order to compete. How does Wal-Mart do it?

Bob Ortega covered Wal Mart for The Wall Street Journal. He went to Guatemala, where he discovered children making clothing for Wal-Mart. Ortega is the author of In Sam We Trust: The Untold Story of Sam Walton and How Wal-Mart is Devouring America.

18 Oct 991002 Howard Lyman - Mad Vegetarian Cowboy

Agriculture has been a cornerstone of the US economy and the family farmer a symbol of the country. Enter 'agribusiness' and farm factories so large that management depends upon tons of petrochemicals in the form of fuel, pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides. Resultant animal production quotas require the use of hormones and antibiotics to support unnaturally high output. Low-cost feeding practices have vegetarian animals eating their own species, roadkill and euthanised pets. Eating off the bottom line may be spreading disease to humans.

Howard Lyman is a fourth-generation Montana farmer, rancher and feedlot operator who turned the family farm into a multi-million-dollar cattle business. He is a former lobbyist for the meat and dairy industries. He has done a complete about-face and now directs the Eating with Conscience Campaign of the Humane Society and is President of the International Vegetarian Union.

11 Oct 991001 Helen Caldicott - Why to Care About Y2K?

Some computer programs, especially the older ones, might fail when the date changes to 2000. Because the programs were written to recognise only the last two digits of a year, such programs could read the digits 00 as 1900, potentially causing a whole range of problems affecting financial transactions, airline schedules and electrical grids. Other countries, particularly Russia, with antiquated computers running nuclear reactors and missile systems, are even more vulnerable to Y2K breakdowns.

Helen Caldicott, an Australian-born paediatrician, is a world-renowned environmental activist. She was the founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organisation which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the author of Nuclear Madness, Missile Envy and If You Love This Planet. Her autobiography is titled, A Desperate Passion.

23 Aug 990803** Michael Leunig - Why Dogs. Sniff Each Other's Tails

Michael Leunig has been described as a cartoonist, artist, poet, priest, prophet and ratbag. His images appear in many of Australia's leading metropolitan and provincial newspapers. The influence of his humour stretches form the back room to the boardroom. This talk was recorded at the launch of his book, Why Dogs Sniff Each Others Tails during a conversation with journalist David Dale. (**CD only)

16 Aug 990802** Paul Hellyer - Death of Democracy

During the 1998 sitting of the Canadian Parliament's standing Committee on Finance, Paul Hellyer observed that 'The IMF seeks the power to control the world economy". Paul Hellyer argues that the current world economic system is in crisis as its foundational principles are based on the flawed theories of Milton Freedman. Hellyer argues that urgent realignments are needed between financial and democratic processes. He argues that there are alternatives and that unless they are adapted the coming crash of capitalism will be far more disastrous that even the most pessimistic predictions.

Paul Hellyer is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and has authored nine books including Surviving the Global Financial Crisis, Evil Empire and Stop! Think!. His background includes not only his service as a parliamentarian but also in business, tourism, journalism and publishing. He visited Australia in April 1999 at the invitation of Economic Reform Australia. (**CD only)

9 Aug 990801** Hanan Ashrawi - Human Rights, Democracy and Middle East Peace

Hanan Ashrawi captured the international spotlight at the 1991 Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid which her eloquent articulation of the Palestinian view of the conflict. Frustrated by the deadlock in the peace process with Israel, growing economic hardship among her people and allegations of corruptions against the Palestinian Authority, she resigned from President Arafat's reshuffled cabinet in late 1998.

Dr, Hanan Ashrawi is a leading Palestinian human rights activist and feminist. She puts forward a powerful case for a review of the peace process and the actions of Israel and its allies. She is a critic of the Palestinian National Authority but she remains a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Dr. Ashrawi is the author of From Intifada to Independence and This Side of Peace. She was a guest of the Australian Arabic Council and she spoke to a packed auditorium at the new Melbourne Exhibition Centre on July 7th 1999 at an evening hosted by the Palestinian Community of Victoria. (**CD only)

2 Aug 990704** Bob Burton - Public Relations: An Australian Perspective

"The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy." So wrote Australian academic, the late, Alex Carey. Today propaganda is often cleverly disguised as the more 'user friendly' Public Relations. Bob Burton answers some questions about the growth of the PR industry in Australia and the ways PR is deployed by major corporations and government departments alike.

Bob Burton is a Canberra based journalist, author and critic of the PR industry. Bob has worked with many grass roots groups including the Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation. In 1999 he co-write, with New Zealand author Nicky Hager, Secrets and Lies: The Anatomy of an Anti-Environmental PR Campaign. Bob Burton is a regular contributor to PR Watch magazine and is the editor of Mining Monitor, a journal that keeps a watching brief on the exploitation of our natural environment by multinational mining corporations. In 2000 Bob was named Wild magazine's "Environmentalist of the Year". He was interviewed by Shane Elson at his home in Canberra in June 1999. (**CD only)

27 Jul 990705 Herbert Kohl - The Creation of Hope in Public Education

Public education is a political issue. Schools and curricula are ideological targets. Funding is a football. Schools decline and parents worry. Conservatives promote voucher programs as an alternative. Defenders of public education say vouchers will undermine the traditional vision of democratic schooling for all and will lead to more inequality, stratification and segregation.

Herbert Kohl is a visionary educator. He has taught every grade from kindergarten to graduate school. He has written many books on education and teaching, including 36 Children, his memorable account of his sixth-grade class in Harlem. He is the author of The Discipline of Hope.

19 Jul 990703 Gary Webb - CIA Crack Cocaine Connection

Whether through malign intent or gross negligence, the CIA contributed to the drug problem in South Central Los Angeles in the mid-1980s. How did that happen? One stupid decision at a time. Accomplices include the House Intelligence Committee, the Justice Department and the Attorney General's Office, which either passed the buck or ignored reports of illegal activity. When journalists look at a story that implicates the upper echelons of government, they are often isolated, ostracised or, as in the case of Gary Webb, demoted and effectively silenced.

Gary Webb reported on the CIA crack cocaine connection for the San Jose Mercury News and for his book Dark Alliance.

12 Jul 990702 Susan Douglas - Media Representations of Women

Images of women are produced in Madison Avenue advertising agencies and then refracted through the prism of media. Feel-good lines like, "You've come a long way baby," and "Never underestimate the power of a woman," mask the mixed messages which heighten feelings of inadequacy and undermine self-esteem. Young girls are particularly vulnerable and are specifically targeted. Impossible standards of beauty are constructed. You can have a career and all that, but unless you are thin as a supermodel with perfect skin, hair, eyes and thighs, you just haven't made it. Media stereotypes abound from the unfulfilled professional, to the nurturing mother, to the scheming vixen. In recent years, feminists are breaking down conventional representations of women.

Susan Douglas is prominent in that effort. She is the author of Where The Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. She is professor of Communication at the University of Michigan. She writes for The Nation, Ms. and other publications.

5 Jul 990701 Helena Norberg-Hodge - Resisting Monoculture, Rebuilding Community

Giant transnational corporations are taking control of agriculture. To increase profits, uniformity is imposed. Diversity is replaced by monoculture. The transnational corporations push genetically engineered crops as the wave of the future. These crops are ecologically unstable and require huge inputs of chemicals and pesticides, thus posing health risks to consumers. The spread of monoculture and the destruction of diversity constitute a serious threat to the sustainability of the planet. February 23, 1999.

Helena Norberg-Hodge, a linguist by training and a native of Sweden, was educated in Europe and the United States. She is a leading critic of conventional notions of growth and development. In 1975, she went to Ladakh, in the northwestern Himalayas in India. Three years later she founded the Ladakh Project, with the goal of providing Ladakhis with the means to make more informed choices about their own future. Her work has received wide support and recognition. She is the author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh. Founder and Director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture, she received the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the alternative Nobel Prize.

28 Jun 990604 Diane Dujon - Women, Welfare and Poverty

Many Americans live one pink slip or one medical diagnosis from financial ruin. Once, hitting bottom meant welfare, but now, with the gutting of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), many face a free-fall. To shift the national debate from how to eliminate welfare to how to eliminate poverty, Diane Dujon thinks we must address the reasons why people find themselves poor. She is a former welfare recipient who knows the system intimately. She contends that with over 67% of the wealth in the coffers of 10% of Americans, we can afford a more compassionate look at welfare.

Diane Dujon is a former welfare recipient who knows the system intimately and thinks we must address the reasons why people find themselves poor.

14 Jun 990602 Michael Parenti - The US War on Yugoslavia

Clinton says the US-led war on Yugoslavia is moral and just. A lot of people are not convinced that they are getting straight news on the Balkan crisis. Some critics say that the US is selectively applying its concern for human rights. They observe that the bombing has turned a bad situation into a catastrophe. They wonder about Madeleine Albright's comment, "What's the point of having this magnificent military if we never use it?" Congress voted an additional $12 billion for the Pentagon. The profits of military corporations are booming.

Michael Parenti is a distinguished political scientist, author and lecturer and one of this country's foremost independent political analysts. He received his Ph.D. from Yale. He has taught at major colleges and universities in the US and abroad. He is the author of numerous books including Against Empire, The Terrorism Trap and the highly acclaimed The Assassination of Julius Caesar.

7 Jun 990601 Robert McChesney - Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy

"Information," Jefferson told us, "is the currency of democracy." What is the impact on democracy when currency is owned, printed, packaged and distributed by a handful of megacorporations? Corporate control of media is at unprecedented levels. Bottom-line considerations dumb down the news and narrow the range of opinion. Politically, the powerful broadcasting lobby pretty much gets what it wants. Conservative New York Times columnist William Safire decried "the giveaway of our digital spectrum" to the media moguls.

Robert McChesney is professor of communications at the University of Illinois and one of the country's foremost experts on issues of media and democracy. He writes extensively on broadcasting history and media policy. He is co-editor of Ruthless Criticism and author of Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy, The Global Media and Rich Media, Poor Democracy.

31 May 990506 Stephen Zunes - Myths of US Middle East Policy

US policy in the Middle East is promoted as advancing the causes of peace, international law and human rights. These myths, repeated like mantras on the evening news, distort and obscure reality. The region is in turmoil and is ruled by emirs, sheiks, kings and dictators, some of whom are the US's closest allies. In a powder keg situation, the US is pouring in arms and militarising the area at an alarming rate.

Stephen Zunes is a specialist on the Middle East. His articles appear in leading journals and magazines. He teaches at the University of San Francisco and is director of its Peace and Justice Studies Program. He also chairs the Middle East Task Force for the interfaith Fellowship of Reconciliation.

24 May 990505 Sydney Schanberg - Sleaze Journalism: The Decline and Fall of the Press

The wave of corporate media mergers has changed the business of newsgathering. Investigative journalism, which takes time and money, is largely replaced by McNews. The public is titillated with coverage of crime and sex scandals. There are endless features about the lives of rich and famous Hollywood celebrities and sports stars.

Sydney Schanberg is one of the most respected journalists of this era. He worked for the New York Times for more than twenty-five years. Recipient of many awards, he is best known for his reporting on Cambodia in the 1970s, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.

18 May 990504 Michael Shuman - Going Local: Self-Reliant Communities

Some say that small business is a prerequisite to democracy in the Americas. But the current trend is to attract multinational corporations with tax abatements, reduced environmental standards and a plethora of goodies offered in an ever-escalating bidding war. The results: communities that are vulnerable to remote decisions and capital flight and an at-risk local work force relying on a job source with loyalties limited to the bottom line. Michael Shuman proposes another approach. By placing the focus on locally-owned and -operated businesses and creating incentives for staying in business, a community's vulnerability can be significantly reduced.

Michael Shuman is the co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies and author of numerous books and articles on the connection between local economies and international affairs.

11 May 990503 Richard Grossman - Challenging Corporate Power

Once corporations got a foot in the door to power in the late 1890s, it took less than a century to buy the whole building and the ground it stands on. Corporate dominance of the public sphere and its growing presence in our private lives are increasingly viewed as simply the way things are--it's just business. When corporate power is challenged by public advocates and small grassroots efforts, they often find themselves up against the goliathan might of money and big media. In this interview, Grossman provides a historical context for legal and civil disobedient resistance to corporate power and discusses late-1990s efforts to defend the commonweal. Interview.

Richard Grossman is a top expert on law and corporations. He directs the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy and is author of Taking Care of Business.

10 May 990502 Michael Parenti - The Sword and the Dollar

US foreign policy objectives sometimes conflict with its professed values. On the one hand, the US affirms its dedication to democracy and human rights, and on the other, it supports dictators and repressive regimes. Do the interests of large US-based multinational corporations factor into the formulation of foreign policy? What role does the world's most powerful military force play? Is there an intersection between the sword and the dollar? January 28, 1999.

Michael Parenti is a distinguished political scientist, author and lecturer and one of this country's foremost independent political analysts. He received his Ph.D. from Yale. He has taught at major colleges and universities in the US and abroad. He is the author of numerous books including Against Empire, The Terrorism Trap and the highly acclaimed The Assassination of Julius Caesar.

6 May 990501 Ralph Nader - Renewable Energy

Renewable energy may be the key to a sustainable planetary future. Yet it is barely a topic for discussion. Fuel economy and energy efficiency are distant memories. With low gas prices, few are thinking about alternatives to fossil fuels. Ford's new entrant into the booming sport utility vehicle market is the Excursion. It is 19 feet long and gets about 10 miles per gallon. The quest for short-term profit comes at the expense of long term harm to the environment.

Ralph Nader has spent a lifetime fighting on behalf of ordinary people, and few Americans have the respect and prestige that he commands. Life magazine ranks him as one of the country's most influential Americans of the twentieth century. Founder of Public Citizen, he is a long-time advocate for consumer safety and workers' rights. He rose to fame in the 1960s when he took on General Motors and its unsafe Corvair car. His 1965 book Unsafe At Any Speed not only created a sensation but was instrumental in the enactment of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. He helped create the Environmental Protection Agency. He has exposed the misdeeds of the corporate sector as well as of the political system. He is perhaps best known for Nader's Raiders and for sparking debate on issues ranging from the Corvair to the Dalkon Shield. In recent years he has led the struggles around NAFTA, the WTO and corporate welfare. In 1996 he was the Green Party presidential candidate, and in 2000 he is their candidate again.

26 Apr 990404 Sister Helen Prejean - Death Row: Into the Belly of the Beast

Gandhi said, "An eye-for-an-eye leaves everyone blind." None seem so blind toward capital punishment as Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China and the US, the only five countries to withhold their votes from a moratorium on the death penalty. An Amnesty International investigation concluded that the death penalty in the United States is applied arbitrarily and is subject to bias based on the defendant's race and economic status.

Sister Helen Prejean is a lively nun who talks about both sides of the tragedy of murder, serving as spiritual counsellor to death row inmates and the families of victims. She wrote the best-selling book Dead Man Walking, based on these experiences, made into the movie of the same name. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

19 Apr 990403 Marilyn Waring - Hidden Economic Indicators

A country's Gross National Product is often presented as a measure of the economic well being of its citizens. But how economists calculate GNP is not clearly understood by most people. Current methods of calculation measure only the cash-generating capacity of an economy, not its productive capacity. This equation not only misrepresents the economic well being of the populace, but also ignores such salient factors as the environment, sustainability and the enormous contributions of women.

Development consultant Marilyn Waring is the first woman to serve in New Zealand's Parliament. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy and is the author of several books on the international economic system.

12 Apr 990402 Noam Chomsky - US Iraq Policy: Motives and Consequences

The US is poised to launch a major war on Iraq. A day does not go by without urgent new pronouncements from on high about the need to attack Iraq. US missile and air strikes on that country, since the end of the Gulf War, have become so routine as to be hardly noticed. Staples of media coverage include Pentagon-generated footage of jets roaring off carrier decks, bemedalled generals with their pointers and maps showing targets, government officials and pundits warning about weapons of mass destruction. Is there something missing from the official story?

Noam Chomsky, renowned MIT professor, has made a careful study of US Iraq policy and has uncovered much hidden history and information. He is recognised the world over as the foremost critic of US foreign policy. His book 9-11 is an international bestseller.

5 Apr 990401 Eric Foner - The Struggle for Freedom

Few concepts are as emotionally and politically charged as freedom. It is the guiding principle of almost all nation states. But the word is hardly dry on paper before the struggle for its application and very definition begins. Over the course of history, freedom has been a living truth for some and a cruel mockery for others. Today, debates on everything from abortion to immigration to gun control are couched in the rhetoric of freedom.

Eric Foner is one of America's preeminent historians. He is DeWitt Clinton professor of history at Columbia University and author of many books, including the award-winning Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, Who is an American? and The Story of American Freedom.

29 Mar 990305 Kwame Ture - Black History

History is often refracted through the narrow lens of those who own the cameras. To some, Black nationalist leaders of the 1960s like Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael were menacing ideologues. To others, they were icons in the struggle against white supremacy. All emphasised the need to discover and uncover black history and connect the past with the present.

Stokely Carmichael was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party. A charismatic speaker, his call for 'Black Power' sent shock waves throughout the civil rights movement and the white establishment. In 1969, he moved to Guinea and changed his name to Kwame Ture. From his new base he advocated Pan-African unity. He died in November 1998 at the age of 57.

22 Mar 990304 Bobby Seale - The Black Panther Party

In the sixties and seventies, the Black Panther Party captured the imagination of millions in the US and around the world. The organisation also attracted the rapt attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Herbert Hoover's FBI launched a sustained counterintelligence program to infiltrate, disrupt and destroy the Panthers. The media and popular history have focused on gun toting Panther militancy and ignored the group's dedication to community organising and providing much-needed services. Seale's candid eyewitness account of the Panthers' rise and fall makes for a memorable program.

Bobby Seale, along with Huey P. Newton, started the Black Panther Party. He was the organisation's first chairman.

15 Mar 990303 Manning Marable - Democratic Values and Economic Inequality

Just when you thought the huge gap between rich and poor could grow no wider, the latest numbers come in. The average CEO now makes 326 times the salary of the average worker. The US has the worse income inequality among industrialised nations. The economic gurus can't explain why the richest country in the world has so many poor. Are vast disparities in wealth consistent with democratic values?

Manning Marable is professor of history at Columbia University, where he also directs the Institute for Research in African American Studies, and one of the countries most distinguished political scientists and authors. He is the author of The Crisis of Colour and Democracy and Black Liberation in Conservative America and a noted Malcolm X scholar. His syndicated column Along the Colour Line appears in over 250 newspapers and journals nationally and internationally.

1/8 Mar 990301 / 990302 David Wilson - Return to the Nuclear Crossroads: Protest and Resistance at Rocky Flats (Pts. 1 and 2)

This special two-part program produced by David Wilson received the NFCB's Golden Reel Award for 1998's best documentary. It explores the history of protest at Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility from the early 1970s through the present, using rare archival tape and recent interviews to relate stories and music of many of the nation's leading anti-nuclear activists: Daniel Ellsberg, Helen Caldicott, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Allen Ginsberg, who read his famous "Plutonian Ode" while blockading the plant in 1978. This compelling program will put you back on the railroad tracks of resistance at Rocky Flats while bringing you up to date on the nuclear disarmament movement.

David Barrett Wilson fell in love with public radio while studying physics and mathematics at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. David started selling radio stories nationally in 1996, focusing primarily on nuclear issues. In 1999, he received a Golden Reel from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for his two part documentary, Return to the Nuclear Crossroads, a history of protest at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant.

22 Feb 990204 Ruthie Gilmore et al- The Political Economy of Policing

At nearly two million Americans behind bars and counting, the United States leads the world in imprisoning its own population. Along with record levels of incarceration, there has been a boom in prison construction. An extensive prison-industrial complex is now an integral part of the economy. Private companies use prison labor to enhance their profits. This panel features three of the leading scholar/activists on crime, punishment and political economy. Ruthie Gilmore teaches at Rutgers University.

David Goldberg is Director of the School of Social Justice Studies at Arizona State University.

Margo Okazawa-Rey is a professor at San Francisco State.

15 Feb 990203 Danny Schechter - The More You Watch the Less You Know

The news media provide less and less information and more and more "infotainment" and a steady diet of the trial of the century, sexcapade of the year and multiple car crash of the week. It is fluff over matter. And it is all served up by the "prettiest hair on the air," as Schechter calls the anchors.

Danny Schechter has long worked in radio and TV. He won two Emmys at 20/20. He is Executive Producer of Globalvision, which produced the highly-acclaimed public TV series South Africa Now and Rights and Wrongs. He is the author of The More You Watch the Less You Know.

8 Feb 990202** Don Dunstan - We Intervene or we Sink

The Howard government is a little more than a year into its first term but already the warning bells are ringing. Hard fought rights for Aboriginal Australians, gays and women are being threatened by the conservative push to return Australian society to some mythic 1950's ideal. What do we do? Don Dunstan argues there is only one option. We intervene or we sink. In this inaugral Gough Whitlam lecture Don Dunstan argues there is no time to lose because if we hesitate, we all lose.

Don Dunstan was one of most charismatic, courageous and progressive Australian politicians of the 20th century. He was South Australian Premier for 11 years during the late '60s and 1970s. He pushed through a raft of legislation during his Premiership including the first Sex Discrimination Act in 1975. He strengthened the 1966 SA Race Discrimination Act in 1976. Don Dunstan was a leader ahead of his time. He passed away from throat cancer on February 6th 1999. This address, recorded by 5UV on the 21st April 1998, was among the last in his public life. (**CD only)

1 Feb 990201 Denis Haliday - Sanctions in Iraq: A Human Rights Catastrophe

The US and its allies supported Saddam Hussein during the 1980s. He fell quickly out of favour with his 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The result was the Gulf War and the imposition of sanctions. The human cost of these sanctions has been staggering. Millions of Iraqis are without food, clean water and medicine. At least 500,000 children have died from malnutrition and disease. Iraq's health care system, once one of the best in the region, is in shambles.

Denis Halliday of Ireland worked for the United Nations for more than thirty years. He was the Humanitarian Coordinator for the UN in Iraq. He resigned his position in protest over the continuation of economic sanctions.

11 Jan 990102 Alexander Cockburn - CIA, Drugs and the Media

CIA drug connections have been suspected since its creation in 1947. Yet from Southeast Asia to Europe and from Afghanistan to Central America, Agency links to the drug trade have not been pursued by the media. A new book written by Jeffrey St. Clair with syndicated columnist Alexander Cockburn, Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press, traces the history of this blind spot. As acerbic in speech as in print, Cockburn reveals the government's most embarrassing moments.

Alexander Cockburn has been a keen observer of the US scene and has established himself in the front rank of media critics since his arrival in this country from Britain in 1972. He is a regular columnist for The Nation and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of Corruptions of Empire, The Fate of the Forest, co-authored with Suzanna Hecht, Encounters with the Sphinz: Journeys of a Radical in Changing Times and Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press.

4 Jan 990101 Noam Chomsky - US Human Rights Policy: Rhetoric and Practice

December 10, 1998 marked the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is the seminal human rights document. The US stresses human rights in its foreign policy; however, its application is selective. Abuses in, say, Saudi Arabia, are ignored, while those in Cuba are the focus of much attention. In October 1997, Amnesty International issued a report charging the US criminal justice system with "a persistent and widespread pattern of human rights violations." May 10, 1998.

Noam Chomsky, internationally renowned MIT professor, has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for more than four decades. He is in such demand as a public speaker that he is often booked years in advance. And wherever he appears, he draws huge audiences. The Guardian calls him, "One of the radical heroes of our age." He is the author of Power and Terror, Middle East Illusion and Hegemony or Survival." He's done a series of interview books with David Barsamian including The Common Good and Propaganda and the Public Mind.

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