Project Censored On Critical Media Literacy and Civic Engagement

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ProjectCensoredLUMPENPROLETARIAT—On this week’s edition of Project Censored, co-host and educator, Mickey Huff delivered another excellent hour-long broadcast.  This Friday’s broadcast focused on the upcoming annual Project Censored book, Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition, including the themes of critical media literacy and civic engagement, both, in education and in the public realm, generally.  They remind us, citizens of an ostensibly democratic society, that civic engagement is a daily way of life.  We can limit our participation to a sporadic electoral cattle call, or disengage civically, at our own peril, not to mention that of our families and communities.  Capital never sleeps.  As Project Censored‘s Dr. Andy Lee Roth noted:

Media power is political power.  [But the] corporate media have played a crucial, perhaps unintentional, role in diminishing the public’s understanding of what it means to participate in a democratic society.

“As Ben Bagdikian, who we dedicated this year’s volume to, noticed back, almost, 30 years ago:  Most Americans no longer experience democracy on a daily basis in their livesAnd that’s a deep and profound problem.  And I think one of the aims of producing a Top 25 list, like we do in the book each year, is to better inform people, so that they might engage with these issues in their daily lives.”

Project Censored is, perhaps, the finest media watchdog group out there.  You need to peep game.  Listen (and/or download) here. [1]

Messina

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[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and Project Censored.]

censored-2017-cover-749x1024PROJECT CENSORED—[23 SEP 2016]  [KPFA station identification by Erica Bridgeman(sp?)]

“Welcome, everybody, to the Project Censored show on Pacifica Radio.  I’m Mickey HuffPeter Phillips is taking a well-deserved day off, although he will be joining me as a guest, briefly, at the end of the show today.

“This is the last day of the KPFA Fund Drive.  And we are very, very close to our goal.  And my goal, coming down here from Sonoma County today, is to make the goal; get us over that hump.  And we can’t do it without you, the great listeners of community radio, free speech radio, KPFA.

“Again, this is the Project Censored show.  I’m Mickey Huff.  And we have a fantastic, whirlwind, show for you today.  So, it’s going to be quick.  Some of you may know that it’s so quick that we jumped in without the theme music.  So, [chuckles] we are ready to raise money.  And you can call at 800.439-5732—800.439-5732—or online at KPFA.org.

“I have something special for you, today, folks—the brand new, hot-off-the-press, fresh-baked Project Censored book, Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition. [2]  My co-editor, and associate director, Andy Lee Roth, and I finished it over the summer.  It’s got a dynamite foreword by the one and only Mark Crispin Miller, fantastic cartoons by Khalil Bendib.  And we’re offering it to you today on the Project Censored show for a $120 pledge.  It’s not even on the shelves yet.  Be the first cool kid on your block to have a copy, a shiny copy—Censored 2017, $120 pledge.  Project Censored: The Movie, our award-winning film, $100.  A bumper sticker and membership for KPFA, $25.  I just want to get ten people calling in right now and get this over with, so we could get over the hump.  That’s how close we are, here, folks, at free speech radio.  800.439-5732 is the number to call.

“So, let’s get on to the content of today’s programme.  On today’s programme, we are looking at Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition.  Noam Chomsky says:

It is immensely gratifying to be able to congratulate Project Censored on the fortieth anniversary of its remarkable achievements, both, in bringing to us critically important stories, that have had little or no media attention and in engaging young activists, who will be able to carry on this very valuable work.  A crucial contribution to a more just and democratic society.

“This is what Noam Chomsky says about Project Censored and our Fortieth Anniversary Edition, Censored 2017.

“And I am joined, right now, by my co-editor and my associate director at Project Censored, Andy Lee Roth.  Andy, thanks so much for joining us today on the Project Censored show.”

DR. ANDY LEE ROTH:  “Hi, Mickey.  It’s great to be on the air with you.”

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “So, Andy, you and I did a lot of work on this 450-page book, ten chapters.  Tell our listeners a little bit about what goes into our stories.  Maybe, talk a little bit about the process as educators.  I read that Chomsky blurb a moment ago.  Right?  And I think that he, rightfully, notes that one of things, that Project Censored has done over the years, that’s maybe different than other media organisations, is critical media literacy education.

“So, talk to us a little bit about that and how we go through the stories.”  (c. 5:27)

DR. ANDY LEE ROTH:  “Yeah.  I mean the Top 25 List—that is the first of, as you mentioned, ten chapters in this year’s book, um it is—the determination of each year’s 25 stories is, really, a year-long process, that involves, literally, hundreds of people, faculty, and students from college and university campuses across the country and, indeed, around the world and, ultimately, the participation of Project Censored’s panel of expert judges, more than two dozen experts, activists, media scholars, professional journalists to help us to vet the stories, that we’re looking at and considering for inclusion in the Top 25 each year.

“So, this year, to be a little more specific, the Top 25 stories, that feature in Censored 2017 were researched by some 221 students, 33 faculty members from 18 colleges and university campuses across the U.S. and in Canada.  And we looked at, this year, to whittle down to the Top 25, we’ve identified and vetted and summarised some 235 stories from the independent press, what we call VINs, or validated independent news stories.  And each of those 235 stories, from which the 25 were selected, are posted up on the Project Censored website.  They are available to the public there as a resource.”

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “And, Andy, that’s ProjectCensored.org.  You could see the stories researched year-round.  We have, roughly, 20 campuses, as you were rattling down the numbers there.  There’s, again, so much work, that goes into this project, that was founded by Carl Jensen at Sonoma State University and carried on by Peter Phillips for so long, who’s still contributing to the book every year.

“And, yeah, you and I have done, I think, seven of these together.  This would be my eighth, I think, total.

“And, Andy, let’s talk a little bit, too, about some of the other things—well, let’s stick with the first chapter momentarily, since you were just talking about the validated independent news stories.  And, without going into details, since this doesn’t come ’til October 4th [2016].

“But what can you tell us about the kinds of stories, or a pattern of types of stories, that are censored and under-reported over the years?  That is, a continuation into this year’s volume.”  (c. 8:06)

DR. ANDY LEE ROTH:  “Yeah, absolutely.  I mean I can say that some of the story topics touched on issues, such as the global presence of U.S. military forces. [3]  This year, we talked some about the crisis of evidence-based medicine; links between climate change and gender-based inequality.

“But I wanna step back from, even, that level of detail on the Top 25 and talk about why it’s important to put together a list, an annual list, of stories, that are under-reported in the corporate media.  And I’m sure this really goes to the issue that the idea, that I think undergirds everything we do at Project Censored.  And it’s certainly an informing theme in Censored 2017, which is the idea that media power is political power.

“There are many ways, that we could unpack the meaning of that term, or the meaning of that statement.  And I wanna just, briefly, touch on two of them.

Media power is political power.  First, one way is that the corporate media have played a crucial, perhaps unintentional, role in diminishing the public’s understanding of what it means to participate in a democratic society.

“As Ben Bagdikian, who we dedicated this year’s volume to, noticed back, almost, 30 years ago:  Most Americans no longer experience democracy on a daily basis in their livesAnd that’s a deep and profound problem.  And I think one of the aims of producing a Top 25 list, like we do in the book each year, is to better inform people, so that they might engage with these issues in their daily lives.

“Now, a second way, if I could just very quickly come back to the idea of media power is political power, has to do with what we’re doing when we produce the Top 25 list.  And that’s engaging students directly in examining the content of the corporate news, comparing and contrasting it with what’s available when we turn to independent news sources.  And, then, educating the public about what they found when they do that.

“And, so, for those listeners, who haven’t seen the Top 25 List before, it’s important to note that, in addition to crediting the journalists and the independent news outlets, that broke these stories of our Top 25 List, we also identify by name the student researcher and the faculty evaluator, who did the vetting work to see:  Well, has this story been covered in the corporate press?

“And I think it’s the hands-on engagement, that the students get by working with, and as the project is something, to our knowledge, I think completely distinctive about Project Censored as a media watchdog group, as one of the longest-standing media watchdog groups in the country.”  (c. 11:21)

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “That’s right, Andy.

“Andy Lee Roth, we’re speaking to, the associate director of Project Censored, my colleague and co-editor of Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition, that’s coming out soon.

“You just heard Andy say one of the key things, that we do at Project Censored, is critical media literacy education, outreach to students and schools.  And we think that this is a really big part of making people aware of the amount of censorship, propaganda, and mis– and disinformation, that are going on in the corporate news media and corporate deep state messaging, that take place in the United States, all under the guise or rubric of a free press or a protected free press.

“Well, Andy, you’re going to stay on with us.  But we have, joining the programme now, we have someone, that is from the millennial generation—right?—that gets a lot of disdain in the corporate media and among two major political candidates.  And, but, I’d have to say our next guest is, not only a stalwart independent journalist, but really the kind of reporting, that she does is, to quote on of the subtitles of our 2014 book, Andy, she’s an exemplar of speaking, exemplifying it by fearless speech in fateful times.

“And our next guest is founder of MintPress News.  And that would be Mnar Muhawesh.  And she has a programme called Behind the Headline.  Her website is MintPressNews[.com].  Mnar Muhawesh, welcome to the programme.”  (c. 12:55)

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Mnar Muhawesh (MintPress News)

MNAR MUHAWESH:  “[chuckles]  Thank you so much, Mickey, for having me.  And thank you for the kind introduction.  I appreciate that.”

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “Well, Mnar Muhawesh, we at Project Censored, as you heard Andy Roth saying, not only do we point out censored stories and do we point out and criticise many of the problems, that take place in media—right?—but we also celebrate courageous, independent journalists, that are willing to go and tell the stories, that we really need to know to understand what’s happening around the world.

“And [clears throat] youI’d have to say that the stories, that you cover at MintPress News are so significant, in terms of what they hit on, that the corporate media, either, miss altogether or grossly distort, that, again, I can’t say the word exemplar.

“This is the kind of reporting, that we need in the United States and around the world today.  And I’d like you to talk to us a little bit about what you do at MintPress News.  You have a story on Syria in our book this year.  And you also have a segment in our ‘Media Democracy In Action‘ chapter on MintPress News.  Tell us about what you do, Mnar Muhawesh, and how people can find out more.”  (c. 14:03)

MNAR MUHAWESH:  “Well, thank you.  I’m honoured that [chuckles], you know, I’m beingyou know, our work is being featured.  But, you know, MintPress, it was startedI started my press for the exact reasons, that you do Project Censored.  I mean we focus on how the media manipulates.  They propagate.  They provide so much disinformation to the public about issues, that we should be highly informed about.

“And the reason, that I pursued journalism in the first place is because I was a victim of disinformation, as a Palestinian-American.  My parents moved us overseas for three-and-a-half years, almost four years, to Jerusalem.  And we lived under Israeli occupation and apartheid.  So, I saw, firsthand, what U.S. foreign policy was doing to people overseas.  And I saw that it was funding a police state, an apartheid state, a militarised state, like Israel.

“And, so, when I came back to the United States, I saw the media provide so much disinformation about Palestinians, about Palestinian liberation.  And they painted the picture.  They, basically, flipped the narrative.

“And, so, from there, I wasyou knowabout twelve, twelve-and-a-half, 13 years old I hadeven though I was so young, I had seen how the media specialised, basically, in flipping the narrative on most foreign policy issues.

“And, so, when it comes to, you know, the war in Iraq, I was very vocal in my high school, speaking out against it.

“And, so, when this war in Syria came along, we were one of the first news organisations to stand up and say that the narrative we were being, basically, fed about the crisis in Syria was, not only disinformation, but our [American government’s] foreign policy was the one, that had basically created this chaos inside Syria.  And our [corporate] media was perpetuating this narrative, so that we can justify more war.

“And, so, that’s the kind of work, that we do.  And something, that we, specifically, specialise in is looking at how these special interests, how the military-industrial complex influences policies at home and abroad.  So, we like to say that we’re the neocon watchdogs [chuckles] in our media.  (c. 16:03)

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “So, Mnar, tell people the website and a little bit about the programme, that you do.”

MNAR MUHAWESH:  “So, our website is MintPressNews.com.  And we launched about four years ago.  And, most recently, in the last year, we launched a video segment called Behind the Headline.  And, basically, it’s just a video format of what we already do at MintPress.  But, you know, with the new age of journalism you gotta get on video.  So, we added that to our reporting.

“And the show is supposed to launch this month on FreeSpeech TV  I.  It’ll be airing on Dish Network and on Roku.  And, basically, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to reach an audience [scoffs], that, you know, turns to the TV to get information.  Unfortunately, even liberal media, that’s available on TV is not quite telling the truth about some of the most important stories, like the war on whistleblowers, the truth about the money-making schemes of the War On Terror.

“And, so, we wanted to be in the forefront of that information and be able to dissect those narratives and be able to reach people, that are, normally, watching TV.  And, unfortunately, we do have a rise of this pseudo-liberal media.  And we, even, wanna challenge that.

“We have news stations, even like, Democracy Now!I love Democracy Now!I love Amy Goodman.  But we just have to be honest that, sometimes, even those news organisations do perpetuate those deep state narratives.  I mean I just saw the other day that they were celebrating the Libyan Revolution on Twitter.  Then, I thought:  That was a CIA-backed revolution.  And, so, sometimes even our so-called liberal media is perpetuating those kinds of narratives, maybe unknowingly.  I’m not sure.

“And, so, we wanna be able to challenge those kinds of narratives as well.”

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “Mnar Muhawesh.  MintPress News.  Again, agreed, here, at Project Censored.  We have sometimes gotten into hot water because we’ve also criticised colleagues on the left of the spectrum. 

“But, again, you know, I’d like to go back to the idea that we’re not, necessarily, interested in tearing downWe’re interested in building up.”

MNAR MUHAWESH:  “Yes.”

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “And, if we can call out this kind of reporting, and call out where there might be disagreements, we can actually have a dialogue, that a free press is supposed to really help generate in a robust democracy.

“So, Mnar Muhawesh, you will be joining us October 21st [2016], at the Fortieth Anniversary Celebration of Project Censored.  You are going to be involved in a great round-table discussion with Abby Martin of Empire Files; with David Talbot, author of The Devil’s Chessboard; and also Mark Crispin Miller, who did the foreword to our book this year.  So, we look forward to seeing you October 21st at Sonoma State University.  People can find out more at ProjectCensored.org.

“Mnar Muhawesh, thank you for your work at MintPress News.  And thank you for joining us on the Project Censored show today.”  (c. 18:52)

MNAR MUHAWESH:  “Thank you so much, Mickey.”

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “ [SNIP]

[Mickey Huff transitions to focusing on appealing free speech radio KPFA’s audience for financial support, as KPFA/Pacifica Radio Network is listener-sponsored and does not take any corporate underwriting.  KPFA is reportedly currently facing a very serious budgetary crisis and has reported concerns of no longer being able to broadcast full time.]

[Dr. Andy Lee Roth gives a few previews of the stories featured in Censored 2017, such as anonymous edits to Wikipedia articles critical of police being traced back to police agency IP addresses.]  (c. 23:13)

[Mickey Huff continues appealing for the sustenance of listener-sponsored free speech, community, radio.]

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “[SNIP]  And we need you to call in:  800.439-5732.  We’re very close to meeting the Fall Fund Drive goal, people.  And we need people power.  And the kind of people power we need right now, at free speech radio, is for you to call in:  800.439-5732.

“You can get the brand new Censored 2017: Fortieth Anniversary Edition for a $120 pledge.  You can get the DVD, Project Censored: The Movie, Ending the Reign of Junkfood News for $100 dollars.

“You can become a member of KPFA, for $25; and get a Project Censored bumper sticker.  So, when you’re driving around or, not just stuck in traffic, but are traffic, people can read that and say:  Huh?  The ‘News That Didn’t Make The News’?  I wonder what that is.  And, on one side of your car you have the KPFA bumper sticker and, on another, Project Censored.

“800.439-5732.  And, yes, this is the Project Censored show.  And, yes, these are Project Censored premiums.  And, no, we are not profiting from these premiumsAnd I want to make sure that there is full disclosure that we offer these materials to KPFA at costWe do not profit from our own items through KPFA, just like Peter Phillips and I, my co-host, who’s gonna join us later to talk about his chapter, we come down here from Sonoma County as volunteers, in support of community radio ‘cos this is what we believe it means, not only, to be a part of this kind of community, but as professors and academics and public intellectuals, we believe that these are the kind of things we are supposed to do to contribute to our democratic culture.  (c. 25:28)

“Please call 800.439-5732.  Please show your support, not only for this kind of programming, but please support KPFA free speech radioPacifica.

“You know, this programme is on 35 stations around the U.S.  But we do it right here.  We come to BerkeleyCalifornia., home of the free speech movement., home of community radio.  It started here, after World War II.  Please call in: 800.439-5732.  That’s the number to call.

“You heard Andy Lee Roth talk about what’s in the 2017 book.  Be the first to have it.  800.439-5732.  For a $120 pledge$10 dollars a month, people, $10 dollars a month; I don’t even think you can get two draft beers or lattes.  $10 dollars a month gets you this book Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition and keeps things going, here, at KPFA.

This is your radio station.

“$100 dollars gets you the DVD of Project Censored: The Movie, award-winningI might addEnding the Reign of Junkfood News.   You can get a bumper sticker and become a member of KPFA for $25.

“We’re gonna have some other people on this show talking about the contents of this book.

[SNIP]

[SNIP]

MICKEY HUFF, M.A.:  “ [SNIP]  (c. 27:36)

“We’ve also got our next guest, that’s going to be coming on—Susan Rahman.  She has a—she has several contributions.  She has a contribution on service learning.  And that attaches to critical media literacy, very important educational work, that you heard Andy Lee Roth talking about.

MICKEY HUFF:  Critical media literacy, very important educational work […]  This is what Project Censored is about.  We’re not just about calling out the censored stories and calling out propaganda.  We’re also about supporting independent journalism and supporting places like KPFA with our volunteer efforts.

And we’re about education.  We are about teaching the next generation how to speak truth to power.

This is what Project Censored is about.  We’re not just about calling out the censored stories and calling out propaganda.  We’re also about supporting independent journalism and supporting places, like KPFA with our volunteer efforts.  And we’re about education.

“We are about teaching the next generation how to speak truth to power.  (c. 28:00)

[SNIP]  (c. 59:59)

Learn more at PROJECT CENSORED.

[This transcript will be expanded as time constraints, and/or demand or resources, allow.]

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[1]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Project Censored, this one-hour broadcast hosted by co-host Mickey Huff, Friday, 23 SEP 2016, 13:00 PDT.

Non-specific programme summary posted by Project Censored on KPFA’s archive page:

“The News That Didn’t Make the News. Each week, co-hosts Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips conduct in depth interviews with their guests and offer hard hitting commentary on the key political, social, and economic issues of the day with an emphasis on critical media literacy.”

[2]  Copies of the new Project Censored book, Censored 2017: The Fortieth Anniversary Edition, are available as a thank-you gift when you become a KPFA listener-member by donating to free speech radio.  They are also available directly from Project Censored here.  About the new book:

“This special 40th anniversary volume features chapters on surveillance technology, the rising police state, and what’s being done to stop it; a brief history of CIA media manipulation; how we can improve upon scholarly research methods of controversial topics and conspiracies; an overview of how major public relations firms generate propaganda, selling empire for governments and corporate clients around the globe; and why critical media literacy education is at the root of achieving social justice for all in our times. It’s a work that deconstructs the challenges we face and proposes many solutions to achieve a more equitable and just world!”

[3]  Read, i.e., US imperialism, US/NATO imperialism, capitalist imperialism, American Unified Combatant Command, etcetera.

If memory serves, the USA is the only nation on Earth with the nerve and hubris to formally carve up the entire planet into segments, which its military is working to dominate and control, as with its Unified Combatant Command scheme.  US imperialism, in this case, is no longer an occulted, or secret, conspiracy theory.  It is publicly documented military and government policy.  This permanently belligerent military stance can only be possible when the citizenry has, either, predominantly acquiesced or disengaged from monitoring and critiquing its foreign policy.  Either scenario gives the military free reign to impose its will, in our name, across the globe, but primarily for the benefit of war profiteers within the military-industrial complex.

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[24 SEP 2016]

[Last modified  15:10 PDT  26 SEP 2016]

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About Health Presents The Neurodharma of Love, A Five-Part Lecture Series by Dr. Rick Hanson

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the-neorodharmaLUMPENPROLETARIAT—If you’re a long-time free speech radio KPFA listener, you may have heard of the neurodharma of love, discussed in an interesting lecture series by Dr. Rick Hanson, the New York Times bestselling author of Hardwired for Happiness, which was presented on this week’s edition of About Health with, guest host, registered nurse Rona Renner.  Even if you have, presentations this rich always reveal something new.  Listen (and/or download) here. [1]

Messina

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[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and About Health.]

ABOUT HEALTH—[19 SEP 2016]  [station I.D. by Erica Bridgeman(sp?):  “And this is a re-broadcast of About Health.”]

“Good afternoon and welcome to About Health.  Today’s special, fundraising, show is about The Neurodharma  of Love.

“Most of our greatest joys and sorrows happen in our relationships with others.  What if you could guide your mind to forgive, heal, and find happiness in your relationships?

“Today, we’ll hear from Dr. Rick Hanson, as he tells us how we can do this.  But, before we listen, I wanna ask you to please donate this hour what you can.  You can call us at 1.800.439-5732.  Or go the website at KPFA.org and donate there.  It’s easy.  It’s fast.  And this generous act will help to ensure that KPFA stays on the air.  So, the website, KPFA.org, is a great place to go.  It will also give you a sense of wellbeing, knowing that, through your generosity, this station can continue to bring information and inspiration to people in your community.

“You can even reach people throughout Berkeley, throughout California, throughout the country.  And we reach people throughout the world—KPFA.org.  No amount of money is too small.  But, if you can afford it, please stretch to give a generous amount to KPFA.

“This is a real crucial time.  Bills have to be paid.  And staff need to know that their hard work and dedication will continue.

“You know; I volunteer my time as the host of About Health twice a month, in part because I know the power of radio.  I’m Rona Renner, also known as Nurse Rona.  I’ve been a registered nurse for 50 years now.  And, for over 30 years, I’ve been working with children and their families.  I’ve been a pediatric nurse, temperament specialist, parenting coach, a radio show host, and author.  I used to have a show for ten years called Childhood Matters on another station.  Back in the ’90s, I was also here on KPFA as the parenting editor.

“You can learn more about me at NurseRona.com.

“Today, I’m part of the KPFA community, asking you to please go online and pledge your support.

“So, now, I’ll tell you a little bit about what you’ll be listening to today.  It’s The Neurodharma of Love with Rick Hanson.   And, by the way, it’s available to you with a donation for $150 dollars today.  So, you can go online and put in your donation.  And, then, ask for this CD.  It’s a six-and-a-half-hour CD set.  And you can do that by calling, as well, at 1.800.439-5732.  (c. 3:16)

“So, in this CD, Rick Hanson discusses how to strengthen your underlying neural circuits of empathy, compassion, kindness, and love, really, at the deepest levels.  This can really help you heal childhood wounds and shift out of that fight-or-flight reactivity.  Rick Hanson explains how to create a healthy balance of intimacy and independence.  How to resolve conflicts with others and lay the neuropsychological foundation for lasting love.  It’s something we know.  Research shows us it really adds to your health and wellbeing.  If you could have those good relationships.

“Dr. Rick Hanson shows us how brain science, practical psychology, and Buddhist meditation practices are all, now, converging to help us experience greater empathy and fulfillment.  And this is with our close relationships, with spouse, partners, loved ones, boyfriends, girlfriends, with family and friends, and also in our larger circles of work relationships and in the community.

“Rick Hanson is a psychologist.  He’s a senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and a New York Times Bestselling author.  His books  include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddhist Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture.  He’s the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom.  And he’s taught at meditation centers worldwide. (c. 4:50)

“Let’s take a listen, now, to a clip of The Neurodharma of Love.”

DR. RICK HANSON:  “The brain doesn’t look like much.  To me, it’s kind of like rotten cauliflower.  Yet, it’s sometimes considered the most complex physical object known to science.  It contains about 1.1 trillion cells, roughly 10% of which, a hundred billion or so are neurons, little on-off switches, like transistors, nested amidst a trillion or so support cells.

“A typical neuron connects to about 5,000 other neurons, giving us an extraordinary network inside our own head of approximately a 500 trillion synapses.  A typical neuron fires five to 50 times a second, consequently the brain is very active.  Even though it’s just 2- to 3% of body weight, it uses 20- to 25% of the oxygen and glucose circulating in the blood.  What’s the function of all this activity?  Why has nature evolved such a metabolically-expensive organ?

“The purpose of the nervous system, headquartered in the brain, is to store, communicate, and transform information.  Information-processing is, essentially, what scientists mean by terms, like mind or mental activity, or related words, like cognition or perception or memory or learning.  (c. 6:12)

“In effect, within the framework of neuroscience or neuropsychology, mental activity entails underlying neural activity.  For an animal with a nervous system, including a really complicated animal, like us, for any animal to see sights, hear sounds, feel feelings, or learn anything new, there must be related, underlying neural structures and processes.

“While the exact way, in which immaterial, conscious experience is related to material, neurological processes is still a mystery, sometimes called the heart problem in neuroscience.  Still, in thousands of ways, large and small, research on humans and other animals has shown that mental activity, including the ebbs and flows of conscious experience, co-arises with, co-relates with, depends upon neural activity.

“This means that, as the brain changes, the mind changes.  And, as the mind changes, so must the brain, both, temporarily and in lasting ways.  (c. 7:20)

“As an example of that, I’d like to tell you about a study, that was done on college students, the great guinea pigs, of course, of the social sciences, who were entering an elite university.  This study was done in two phases.

“In the first study, students were put into an FMRI brain-scanner and, while in the scanner, they were told about another classmate, that they had not yet met, who was much smarter than they were, much more skillful, much more brilliant, much more accomplished, and, definitely, destined to a much higher level of success. [2]

“The students were asked, in the scanner: So, how do you feel about this other person?  And their brains were scanned, as they reported their experiences.  What they reported is that they felt bad.  They felt less than the other person.  They had envy for that person.  They felt inadequate, in comparison to that other person.  And, simultaneously, in their brain, there were activations of neural circuitry, that has to do with physical pain.  Literally, if you stub your toe, or you bang your thumb with a hammer, various circuitry lights up.  That same circuitry lit up when these students were experiencing social pain, feeling less than, feeling inadequate, feeling ashamed of themselves.

“So, that was phase one of the study.  And, then, in phase two, a few weeks later, the students were brought back, put inside the scanner.  And they were told, now, with great authority, as if it were certainly true.  Although, of course, all of this was totally made up.  They were told with great authority that this particular student, their dreaded rival, someone vastly superior to them, had actually experienced a shaming downfall.  This person was revealed to have cheated on various tests, to be completely bogus.

“And the students were asked, in the moment—How do you feel about this?—while their brains were being scanned as well.  What they said they felt was—Great!  Yay!  I’m no longer inadequate!—feelings of Schadenfreude, you know, pleasure in the misfortune of others.

“And, in their brains, circuitry, that has to do with physical pleasure also activated as well.  In other words, as they were experiencing social pleasures, like feeling better about themselves, more adequate, more worthy, even superior to other people, as that was happening, circuitry, that has to do with the pleasures of things, a delicious cupcake or having your back scratched when your itchy.  Those circuits lit up as well.  (c. 9:55)

“So, besides pointing out the importance of the power of envy, which I think is underestimated in human relationships, this study speaks to a deeper, farther-reaching point, which is that (first) as your mind changes, your brain changes and (second), more recent psychological capabilities or tendencies, such as toward social emotions, like envy or inadequacy on the one hand or self-worth and being valuable on the other, these more recent emotions are built on upon more ancient capabilities and tendencies in the human brain.

“And, then, to go to the deeper level, it’s not just that temporary mental activity produces temporary changes in neural structure and function, actually, repeated patterns of mental activity, which entail repeated patterns of neural activity, lead to lasting changes in neural structure and function because repeated patterns of neural activity, themselves, lead to lasting changes in neural structure and function.

“This is called experience-dependent neural plasticity.  (c. 11:06)  [SNIP]

[SNIP]

[SNIP]  (c. 59:59)

Learn more at ABOUT HEALTH.

[This transcript will be expanded as time constraints, and/or demand or resources, allow.]

***

[1]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Special Programming: About Health (re-broadcast), this one-hour re-broadcast hosted by Nurse Rhoda (with Kris Welch), Monday, 19 SEP 2016, 14:00 PDT.

This brilliant series featured priorly.  For example:

  • About Health – September 12, 2016; 12 SEP 2016.  [This broadcast was re-broadcast the following week and listed in the archives as Special Programming]
  • Fund Drive Special – February 18, 2014; 18 FEB 2016.
  • Fund Drive Special – December 11, 2013; 11 DEC 2013.
  • [pending]
  • Living Room, 11 OCT 2007.

Also see:

  • Thích Nhất Hạnh, Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, and peace activist on Being Peace; 8 JUN 2015.

[2]  We may be reminded of Morrissey’s classic song:

We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful” by Morrissey

***

[22 SEP 2019]

[Last modified 12:42 PDT  24 SEP 2016]

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Ralph Nader Radio Hour Presents Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein

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kpfa-free-speech-take-it-back-logo-121199LUMPENPROLETARIAT—On this week’s edition of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour, Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein joined host Dr. Ralph Nader for the entire hour. [1]  Listen/view (and/or download) here. [2]

Messina

***

[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and The Ralph Nader Radio Hour.]  [3]

ralph-nader-radio-hourRALPH NADER RADIO HOUR—[19 SEP 2016]  “From the KPFK studios in southern California, it’s the Ralph Nader Radio Hour[theme music]

“Welcome to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour.  My name is Steve Skrovan, along with the man of the hour.  Ralph Nader, how are you doing today?” 

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Very good.  We have a great programme coming up with the Green Party candidate for [U.S.] president.”

STEVE SKROVAN:  “That’s correct.  And, if recent activity in our Facebook page is any indication, this is a very anticipated show in what we hope will be a series of interviews with national candidates before Election Day.  We have sent invitations to all of the presidential candidates, who have made it on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance to win the United States Presidency.  That includes, of course, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

JillSteinItsInOurHandsFlickrDemocracyChronicles“The first to accept our offer to engage with Ralph is Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.  Dr. Stein is a physician, who graduated from Harvard Medical School and practiced internal medicine for 25 years in Massachusetts.

“In the 1990s, Dr. Stein became increasingly concerned about the links between illness and environmental toxins, especially exposures to lead and mercury and dioxin contamination, that comes from the burning of waste.  She helped lead the fight to clean up coal plants in Massachusetts, then known as the Filthy Five.  This ended up setting an example for how other states could raise the standards for their own coal plants.

“Her first foray into electoral politics was in 2002, when she was recruited by Green-Rainbow Party activists to run for governor of Massachusetts against Mitt Romney.  She’s the co-author of two significantly praised reports, ‘In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Develpment’ and ‘Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging’.  She was the Green Party president in 2012 and, again, here, in 2016.

“She joins us just before a rally at the University of Maine.  Welcome to Ralph Nader Radio Hour, Dr. Jill Stein.”  (c. 2:20)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Thank you so much, Steve.  Thank you, Ralph.  It’s really an honour to be with you.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Well, I can say that you’re my successor on the Green Party ticket.  So, I know a little bit about what you’re going through.  And I’m sure our listeners are eager to hear you out.  You don’t have to engage in soundbites, here, as you may have experienced with some of the mass media. [4]

“A little background here:  The Green Party is going to be on how many state ballots, Jill Stein?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “It will be approximately 48.  So, we’re currently on, I believe, 46.  And I think we expect two more.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “That’s very good.  That could be a high water mark for the Green Party in its history.  What two states, I can only guess, aren’t you gonna be on because of horrendous obstacles to getting on the ballot?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “I believe it’s Oklahoma and South Dakota.  And we’re on as a write-in [option] in North Dakota, in Georgia, and Indiana.

“So, you know, it’s the states which are, you know, just having insurmountable hurdles.  We’ve spent money, you know, to augment our volunteer effort.  But we are still largely a people-powered campaign.  So, we don’t have whatever it is; I think, it was like $30 million dollars, the Libertarians talk about, that it cost them to get on the ballot.  We don’t have $30 million dollars.  We’re a people-powered campaign.  So, where the states are dead set on suppressing political opposition, it’s very hard to overcome that.”  (c. 3:55)

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Right.  Well, you’re on the ballot for the states where our listeners are, overwhelmingly.  Let’s get to the next point, which is your platform, as I read it.  And I’m gonna summarise it.  Either, it has majoritarian support in this country or very close to majoritarian support.

“For example, you want a public works program dealing with public transit, sustainable agriculture conservation, renewable energy.  I think most people would like that,  That probably comes in about 90%.  They see their public works crumbling, services inadequate, they have libraries and schools and bridges and highways that have not been repaired.

“You also believe in a full employment policy.  That was the majority Democratic Party policy in 1946.  They actually passed a law to that effect.  You want to end poverty.  And when people see how relatively easy it is to end poverty.  And one way is to increase the minimum wage—catch up; it’s been frozen for so many years—$15 dollars-an-hour minimum wage.  That was one of the reasons why so many people flocked to Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. [5]  (c. 5:05)

“Full Medicare-For-All, free choice of doctor and hospital.  That comes in 60- to 70% without even further explanation.  And, if you ever explained it, given all the trouble people are having qualifying and not qualifying for all these healthcare, so-called, insurance plans, it would go up even higher.

“You want to do something about student debt.  And that affects conservative and liberal students.  That’s going to be a majoritarian position.

“You want a global treaty to halt climate change, that adds teeth and ends destructive energy extraction.

“Ending police brutality and mass incarceration.  There’s a growing left-right support for criminal justice reform.

“I suppose the Green Party doesn’t care for the anti-civil libertarian provisions of the notoriously named P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, invading privacy, and being able to search your home, and not tell you for 72 hours.  I think most Americans are against illegal surveillance of their emails and telephone calls by the government.

“And I think most Americans are ready for waging peace and not just brutalising our foreign policy, which is boomeranging against us.

“And you want to abolish corporate personhood.  I think the more people learn that corporations are not people, that have all the equal rights and even more privileges and immunities than we have—.  (c. 6:32)

“So, here we start out, Dr. Stein, with a majoritarian platform.  We live in a two-party tyranny, that doesn’t believe in competition, can enforce it with penalties and obstructions.  And they’re getting closer and closer to being, both, one corporate party with two heads having different labels.

“So, how do you explain to the American people why they don’t vote their conscience enough and why they don’t vote for majoritarian issues, that you represent, and which mostly are off the table by the Republican-Democratic Party—off the table, undiscussable?”  (c. 7:10)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Absolutely.  You know, I think we’re at a really unique moment right now because the American people are waking up to the fact that it is a race to the bottom between these two corporate parties, that are sending jobs overseas, putting downward pressure on wages, starving people out of healthcare, locking an entire generation into unpayable predatory student loan debt.

“So, you know, we’re at a point now where we don’t have to convince people how screwed they are.  In my experience, what I’m hearing from people, now, is that they are just desperate to hear about something else.  The two majority candidates right now, the Democratic and Republican candidates, Trump and Clinton, are the most disliked and untrusted presidential candidates in our history with more than majority disapproval.  At the same time, you have 76% of voters saying they want to open up the debates.  They want to be able to hear about something else.

“You know, it’s rather remarkable.  Donald Trump has had over $4 billion dollars of free prime-time media.  Hillary’s had over $2 billion worth.  My campaign has had, essentially, zip.  Yet, we are still pushing up around 5% in the polls, which is unprecedented for a non-corporate party without the big money to get the word out.  We’re getting out there simply by word of mouth, by networking among desperate people.  The largest bloc of voters, now, has divorced the Democratic and Republican parties, which are now minority parties and the plurality of voters, now, are independent.  They’re looking for something else.

“So, you know, it’s no surprise that the corporate media, and many of the nonprofits, that are dependent on the big money, they are not allowing our campaign the real alternative to see the light of day.  (c. 9:06)

“So, the key here, in my view, is not having to change people’s minds.  It’s just allowing them to know. [5]  In fact, I was in a debate, Ralph—I don’t know if I ever mentioned this to you.  But, back in 2002, we fought our way into a governor’s debate in Massachusetts where, you know, this was televised and I articulated our usual agenda:  Cut the military; put the dollars into true security here at home; provide healthcare, as a human right; raise wages, which needed to be living wages; green our energy system; equal marriage.  We were the only ones talking about it back in 2002.  That agenda went over like a lead balloon inside of the little TV studio, which is just candidates and moderator.  But when we walked out, I was mobbed by the press, who told me I had won the debate on the instant online viewer poll.  You know, just in the course of an hour, people didn’t need to be persuaded.  They just needed to hear.  Oh, my god!  There is another plan here, which is about the public interest.  (c. 10:09)

DR. JILL STEIN:  My campaign filed the bill [on ranked-choice voting] back in 2002 in the Democratic legislature, 85% Democratic—they could have prevented any possibility of a split vote.  [The Democrats] could have preempted any possibility of bypassing ranked-choice voting.  They refused. The fact that they refused is very revealingIt tells you they rely on intimidation and fear in order to gain your vote.  And the fact that they rely on fear tells you they are not your friend and do not deserve your vote!.

“So, for me, that was like the lights went on.  You know?  That was like the moment of revelation for me that, in fact, we are not the lunatic fringe.  We really are, we represent, the core of basic American community values.  And the name of the game is getting the word out.  You know?  And they are quaking in their boots, which, of course, is why they will not pass ranked-choice voting.

“We could solve this problem of a divided vote, or an unintended consequence of your vote, to a voting system, which uses your name, where I am right now, they’ve got it on the ballot for a statewide referendum—”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Explain that.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “—that enables people—”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Yeah.  Explain that.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Okay.  You go into the voting booth.  And you can rank your choices.  So, if your first choice is an underdog, that might not win, you know that your choice number two, which might be your lesser evil, your safety choice, your vote is automatically reassigned from your first choice to your second choice if your first choice loses and there’s not a majority winner.

“So, it, essentially, eliminates, [vote-]splitting.  It eliminates having to vote your fear instead of your values.  It allows us to actually bring a moral compass to our democracy.  Democracy cannot function just on:  Who do we fear the most?  You know?  Or:  Who do we hate the most?  We need an affirmative agenda.  (c. 11:33)

“The fact that the Democrats will not allow this to be passed—and, in fact, my campaign filed the bill back in 2002 in the Democratic legislature, 85% Democratic—they could have prevented any possibility of a split vote.  And, you know, it was a close vote.  And the votes for me, you know, might have made that difference.  But it turned out they didn’t.  But the gap was bigger than—”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Yes.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “—the votes, that I got.  But, in any event, they could have preempted any possibility of bypassing ranked-choice voting.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Yeah.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “They refused. The fact that they refused is very revealingIt tells you they rely on intimidation and fear in order to gain your vote.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Yeah.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “And the fact that they rely on fear tells you they are not your friend and do not deserve your vote!”  (c. 12:20)

DR. RALPH NADER:  “It’s worse than that.  Worse than relying on fear is they’re excluding you from the seat at the table.  One of the ways they exclude you is what you just said:  Instant-runoff voting.

“They always talk about spoilers, a political bigoted word, that should be called that.  It’s only aimed at third-party candidates, never any others with the major parties.  And they got an opportunity to deal with that with instant-runoff voting.  And they don’t.

On the mass media censorship of the Green Party and other alternative political parties

“Let’s run through the various ways they’re trying to marginalise the Green Party, and even the Libertarian Party.  One way is to keep you off the mass media.  In 2004, Professor Stephen Farnsworth put out a report saying that I got about five minutes on all the networks after Labor Day to election day, only five minutes, even though I, like you, were representing majoritarian issues.  Okay?

“So, have you gotten any time on the following, the national, CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Media Research Center just put out a report, like, last week and what they showed was that I’ve gotten three seconds worth of coverage on major media evening news.  Gary Johnson has had eleven seconds.  And Donald Trump has had approximately 35,000 times as much coverage, Hillary Clinton about 20,000 times as much coverage.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Right.  And these networks are using public properties, the public airwaves.

“Alright; the next question is:  How about the cable shows?  Let’s talk about the so-called liberal MSNBC.  Have you been on any of those shows?  Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Larry O’Donnell, any of these shows and others on MSNBC?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “None of the major shows.

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Okay.  Let’s go to the radio now.  Have you been on NPR?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Briefly, yes.  I was on Tom Ashbrook.  I did have one hour on Tom Ashbrook.  And that was really—that’s about it.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Okay.  Have you had any C-SPAN coverage?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Yes.  C-SPAN covered our, you know, our major events.  They covered the convention.”  (c. 14:34)

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Yes.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “And they covered our announcement.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Yes, they were very good in presidential campaigns.  That’s why they’re trusted.” [6]

“How about the following shows?  Charlie Rose on PBSDiane Rehm Radio, NPRTerry Gross, NPR?  And have you been on those shows?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Well, I had, approximately, a ten-minute segment on Diane Rehm.  That’s all.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Well, that’s more than I got [as presidential candidate].

“The point here, Jill Stein, is—and I’ll make it in a personal way—over 80% of the people, when I ran for President, knew about me.  But, then, I realised that, when I was running, 80% of the people didn’t even know I was running.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Right.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “So, you see that gap is exactly how they can marginalise and exclude people from giving the voters more voices and choices.”

On the anti-democratic nature of the two-party system, or two-party dictatorship, and its systematic exclusion of alternative political parties

“Alright, the third way they block competition and continue the two-party duopoly is with the phony name called the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is a nonprofit corporation created by the Republican and Democratic parties, as you know, in 1987 to get rid of the League of Women Voters’ supervision of debates.  And it is funded by corporations.  The debates are greased by companies like Ford Motor Company, AT&T, Anheuser-Busch.  And, except for letting Ross Perot on in 1992, they haven’t let anybody on.  And they get the cooperation of these networks, who make money from the ratings, to keep everybody off.

“Now, have there been any polls asking the American people whether they want you, the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, on those debates?  In 2004 and 2000, too, the majority of people wanted me and Buchanan on the debates in 2000, and me on the debates in 2004.  Have there been any polls?”  (c. 16:31)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Yes.  And the numbers have gone up from where they were when you were running.  It’s now 76% of the American public, that says they want Gary Johnson and myself included in these [presidential] debates.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “So, there you are. What’s happening is that the will of the people, the declared opinion of the people, who want more agendas, more ideas, more sensible re-directions for reforms in our country, are being thwarted by the mechanism of keeping third-party candidates, who are on more than enough States, theoretically, to get an electoral vote majority, to keep them off the mass media, the commercial media, to keep them off the debates.

“Now, unless you have billions of dollars, it’s impossible to reach tens of millions of the American people, no matter how hard you campaign.  And you’ve been campaigning non-stop, Jill Stein.

“So, if you’re kept off the debates, you can’t reach more than 2% of the people, even if you campaign every state and fill the big conventions like Madison Square Garden.

“So, it is basically a strategy to destroy the essence of democracy, which is the competitiveness and choices of candidates on the ballot.”

“Now, you have been on Democracy Now! haven’t you?”  (c. 17:52)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Yes.  We had good coverage.  And, you know, let me just add to what you said about the Commission, that fake Commission, a very public and official sounding name.

“The League of Women Voters quit after the two corporate parties took over this Commission.  And they quit saying that this is a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter.  There’s the pretense that this is official when it’s actually the two parties who are colluding in order to silence political opposition.  This is true two-party tyranny.  And it locks people in, especially outrageous at this time, that people feel like they are being thrown under the bus by these two political parties and are demanding, you know, other options in large numbers.”  (c. 18:42)

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Let’s get back to the debates.  The first debate, which you are excluded from, Dr. Jill Stein—and Gary Johnson as well—is September 26.  It’s coming up fast, at Hofstra College in Long Island.  And, then, they have two more debates, at the presidential level, and one at the vice presidential level.

“I wonder why they’re rationing debates.  You want to talk about people wanting more debates at this stage of the election.  It’s probably 95%.

“What are you gonna do about the Hofstra debate?  Are you gonna go there?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Yes, I’m going there.  We now have over 100,000 people who are signed up on our campaign and our petition to open up the debate.  And we’re encouraging people to come and to join us and to insist that we need to be included.

“So, exactly what the plans are at Hofstra, we will be advising people as the time gets closer.  But we are not just going to go quietly into this dark night.

“In this election, we are not just deciding what kind of a world we will be, but, arguably, whether we will have a world or not going forward.  If my campaign is not in the debates, we will not have a real discussion of the emergency of climate change and why, in fact, we need a Green New Deal type national mobilisation at the scale of a wartime mobilisation in order to address this emergency.

“If my campaign is not in the debates, we will not be talking about how we really fix this problem of endless and expanding war, why we need to cut the military budget by 50%, why we need to bring back our troops scattered overseas—the police force of the world—in over a hundred countries, something like eight hundred bases—but who’s counting?—why we need to, basically, bring those troops home, and why we need to stop this policy of regime change, these wars on terror, which only create more terror.  This needs to be debated.

“And a third issue, Ralph, that is potentially putting us all in the target hairs, now, is the reactivation of a new nuclear arms race.  This arms race and this cold war is potentially hotter than it’s been at any time in my lifetime.  And we have 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert right now.  And Hillary Clinton wants to start an air war with Russia, a nuclear-armed power over Syria, as the means of addressing ISIS and the crisis in Syria.  This kind of stuff, nuclear weapons, needs to be on the table.  And it won’t be, if I’m not in the debate.”  (c. 21:20)

DR. RALPH NADER:  “That’s true because, both, Trump and Hillary want bigger military budgets.  And Hillary supports President Obama’s $1 trillion dollar expenditure to, so-called, upgrade nuclear weapons.

“President Eisenhower warned us—five star general—”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “That’s right.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “—he said:  Watch out for the military-industrial complex.  That’s a threat to our freedom and to our economy.  And what we have, now, is a gigantic taxpayer draining empire, that is devouring itself, which, as you say, it’s creating more resistance, more fighting against us overseas.  The threats are coming to this country, which will, of course, increase the massive industry known as the anti-terrorism industry and crush our civil liberties and civil rights.  And it’s devouring our priorities, here, in communities all over the country, which are in such disrepair and are so neglected in terms of public works and public services.  (c. 22:15)

“In the meantime, the big corporations are fleeing America for tax havens in places like Ireland and Luxembourg and the Grand Cayman Islands; the rich are finding more tax loopholes to expect; so, when are the people going to, basically, roll up their sleeves and say?  We’ve had enough.  We’re going to recapture Congress.

“As you know, Jill, a lot of progressives, they have great agendas and they have great solutions, but they don’t pay enough attention to recapturing Congress.  And recapturing Congress—535 men and women, who put their shoes on every day, like you and I—is the key to begin turning this whole process around.

“And I hear people who are worried about climate change tell me:  Oh, Congress.  That’s gridlock.  That’s not where the action is.  Hello?  That’s where the action is when I go up there.  I see coal lobbyists, oil lobbyists, natural gas lobbyists, nuclear power lobbyists.  Somehow, they think that’s where the action is in Congress.  (c. 23:19)  [7]  (c. 23:19)

[KPFA’s Mitch Jeserich cuts into the broadcast, as this broadast took place during a fund drive period, to appeal for financial support for free speech radio KPFA, so that it doesn’t have to go off the air or sell out by succumbing to corporate money and influence]  (c. 26:59)

“So, I want to ask you this question.  How do you read the Bernie movement, the Bernie Sanders movement before and after he endorsed Hillary Clinton?  Without qualifications, I might add.  And how is it going to help you?  So, how do you read before, after, and how’s it going to help you?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  And what we learned, in the course of Bernie’s campaign, is that you cannot have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party.  The party pulled out its kill switch against Bernie and sabotaged him.  As we saw from the emails revealed, showing the collusion between the Democratic National Committee, Hillary’s campaign, and members of the corporate media.

And it wasn’t the first time.  This happened to Dennis Kucinich. It happened to Jesse Jackson. They did it even to Howard Dean, creating the ‘Dean Scream’.  This is how they work.  And it’s been a huge wake-up moment.

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Well, let me just say that on the day that Bernie endorsed Hillary, the floodgates opened into our campaign.  Our fundraising went up about a thousand percent.  And that’s, largely, been sustained.

“Our Facebook went off the charts.  And volunteers poured into our campaigns and actually helped us achieve the ballot access status, that we have now on the ballot in just about 48 states.  And this has continued.

“So, Bernie, is a team player.  He made it known from the very start that he would be supporting the Democratic nominee, presumably Hillary Clinton. (c. 27:50)

And what we learned, in the course of Bernie’s campaign, is that you cannot have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party.

The party pulled out its kill switch against Bernie and sabotaged him As we saw from the emails revealed, showing the collusion between the Democratic National Committee, Hillary’s campaign, and members of the corporate media.

“And it wasn’t the first time.  This happened to Dennis Kucinich.  It happened to Jesse Jackson.  They did it even to Howard Dean, creating the ‘Dean Scream’.

“This is how they work.  And it’s been a huge wake-up moment.

“And Bernie’s campaign was very principled in most regards, I think.  You know, he certainly didn’t go far enough in questioning the military policy, the military-industrial complex, and so on. [5]  But, you know, I think that’s the price you pay for being in the Democratic Party.  And Bernie has to pay that price.  If he were liberated from the Democratic Party, it might be a whole new ballgame.

You know, as he said himself, it’s a movement, not a man.  And that movement continues to move into our campaign.  It’s going strong.  I think it’s a marriage made in heaven.  The Green Party provides the infrastructure, kind of, the culture of watchdogging the electoral bureaucracy and how you participate, how you get on the ballot, stuff like that, which is very difficult to do, unless you have billions of dollars.

“So, with the passion and the vision of the Berners coming into the Greens—we call it Berning green—and the events, that I’m going to, that are being created around the country right now, it’s the Bernie folks, who are showing up in huge numbers along with the traditional Green.  It’s very powerful.  (c. 29:24)

On the 43 million Americans with student loan debt, who, if only they voted for their own interests in having public education be truly public and cancelling all student loan debt, could easily elect Dr. Jill Stein for President of the United States, if only they woke the folk up…

“There’s one other element I just want to be sure to mention here.  That is that there are 43 million young people who are locked into predatory student loan debt, for whom there is no way out in the foreseeable future, given the economy that we have: this predatory, Wall Street-driven, financialised, low-wage, service-industry economy. [5]  The jobs, that have come back have been extremely insecure low-wage, benefit-poor, temporary jobs. [5]

“Young people are screwed.  They don’t have a way to pay off this debt. [8]  And when they discover that they could come out and vote Green to cancel that debt, that I am the one candidate, who will bail out the students, like we bailed out the crooks on Wall Street, then it becomes an irresistible motivation to actually come out and vote Green.

“And I just want to note that 43 million young people in debt is enough to win a three-way Presidential race.

“So, when they tell us that resistance is futile, just remember that is the toxic kool-aid.  That is the propaganda, that they’re trying to use to keep people from self mobilising.”

RALPH NADER:  “Right.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “If ever there was a mobilising energy, it is the millennial generation.”

RALPH NADER:  “Yes.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “So, we have the power to turn out and even to win this race, not to split the vote, but to flip the vote.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “You know, we’re trying to convey how much easier it is than most people think, especially young people, to turn the country around, if they focus on the levers, if they focus on Congress and state legislatures.

“If a hundred people in each congressional district started a Congress watchdog club with a letterhead and a summons to the members of Congress to come to town meetings, even just a hundred people out of 690,000 people in each congressional district, they will begin to feel their power and feel how they go to 200, 500, 700, how they can challenge these corporations, that control a majority of the members of Congress, even though they don’t have any vote.  We’re the ones that have the vote.

“So, we have to convey the sense that in American history it’s always been a few people, that started movements against slavery, women’s right to vote, the farmer-labour revolutions in the late 19th century.  And always third parties have been first, Jill Stein, as you say to your own audiences, they have been first with the great issues, way before the two major parties.  They were first to recommend a social security program, a medicare program.  They were the first to push for a 40 hour week, for progressive taxation.

“And that’s one reason why they are discriminated against and repressed.  It’s because they want to shift power from the few to the many.  So, why don’t you give the website.  I’m sure our listeners are saying:  How do we get in touch?  How do we become part of this justice movement?”  (c. 32:18)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Great.  So, go to Jill2016.com or, on social media, go to DrJillStein—and that’s D-R, no period—and join the team, because we’re here for the long haul.

“And, you know, in the words of Alice WalkerThe biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with.  We have it, just to look at the power of fighting student debt or 25 million Latinos who’ve learned that the Republicans are the party of hate and fear, but Democrats are the party of deportation and detention.

“We have all the numbers we need to turn this system on its head.  The anti-slavery parties were also called spoilers, including the Republican party, that went on, not just to abolish slavery, but to, actually, take over the presidency, moving very quickly from third-party into the presidency.

“At a time of great social upheaval, all things are possible.  We must challenge, as Ralph was saying, you know, to fight at every level, including Congress, and to make that challenge political and to organise as a political party is how we get traction.

“In the words of Frederick Douglass, power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.  We must be that demand.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”  (c. 33:34)

DR. RALPH NADER:  “So—”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Don’t let them talk you out of your part.

On Dr. Jill Stein’s main opponents, the two dominant, establishment, corporate candidates..

DR. RALPH NADER:  “So, that’s your opening statement, if you’re on the presidential debates at Hofstra on September 26th [2016].

“Let’s get your view on the two major candidates.  Let’s start with a question, that I have to you about Donald Trump.  He has made every mistake possible, any one of which would have destroyed his candidacy, if he was an ordinary candidate.  He has been a bigot against Hispanic-Americans, Muslim-American.  He wants to build the wall.  He engages in repeated, daily, factual misstatements, where even people on Fox News have to follow up and correct his false statements again and again.  And he never corrects them himself.  (c. 34:12)

He’s cheated about everything and everybody he’s dealt withHe’s cheated against his workers, his consumers, Trump University, that fraud.  He’s cheated against his small business suppliers.  He’s cheated against his investors with his bankruptcies.  He’s cheated against his creditors.  He even has boasted about cheating against his matrimony.  And he’s cheated against taxpayers, by being a corporate welfare king and not paying any taxes, refuses to disclose his tax returns, which would show all kinds of interrelations, that might lead to his disapproval by people.

Now, given all that, and given the so-called conservative values of his supporters, why is he now surging on Hillary Clinton?  The latest poll, he’s five points ahead in Ohio; he’s almost tied in Florida, when, a few weeks ago, he was ten points or more behind?  What does this say, first, about the voters, who are supporting him?  And what does this say about the media, that is replaying, as you say, billions of dollars of free propaganda by him?  What does this say about the Trump movement?”  (c. 35:32)

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Well, you know, as Bernie Sanders himself said, you know, the Trump movement reflects the economic despair and misery that’s been inflicted, not only, on the American people, but people around the world, as we have been subject to globalisation and financialisation and austerity and workers have been thrown under the bus, while the 1% is rolling in dough.

“You know, the way that you address this right-wing extremism is actually by putting forward a truly progressive agenda.  That’s the only solution here.

“And the economic misery—who passed NAFTA?  You know, Bill Clinton signed that, with Hillary’s support.  Who passed Wall Street deregulation, that enabled the meltdown of Wall Street and the disappearance of nine million jobs, the theft of 5 million homes?

“You know, we have Democratic centrists here to blame for the economic conditions driving this right-wing extremism.

“So, the solution here, you know, is not Hillary Clinton and more of the Clintonism centrists, the centrist Clinton philosophy, that is breeding this economic misery.  (c. 36:42)

“But let me put this another way.  Polls show that a majority of Trump supporters don’t actually support Donald Trump.  They actually dislike Hillary Clinton.  They’re looking for something else.  So, what we need to do is to give them something else.

“And in terms of the role of the media, that is my candidacy, which does provide that truly progressive agenda, that gets to the heart of what is driving this right-wing extremism.

“It’s not just Donald Trump.  Hillary Clinton is not gonna be the solution here.  She’s gonna be more of what is driving this incredible economic insecurity and this shift to the right.

“The media factor was summed up by the CEO of, I think, it was CBS, who said: Donald Trump may be bad for the country, but he sure is good for our bottom line.  And it reflects, Ralph, I think, how important it is, what you’ve said before, that it’s time to use the antitrust laws and to break up this conglomerate corporate media, that has now poisoned our democracy to the point that our very survival is at risk for the kinds of monstrosities, that are flourishing in our corporate media-dominated discussion.”  (c. 37:57)

DR. RALPH NADER:  “It’s amazing how the media has degraded itself to the level of the Republican primary—scurrilous back and forth.  And, the media—I keep telling people in the mass media:  You’ve got a privileged position in the First Amendment.  And you should have a higher estimate of your own significance and not just be ditto-heads for political scum and political slander.

“And, in substantial presentations, Hillary has been seen by the commentators as one of the reasons, as you say, her weakness as a candidate, her duplicity, her untrustworthiness, her more Wall Street and more war.  You could have a button with a nice picture of Hillary in the middle, and on the top is ‘More War’, and on the bottom is ‘More Wall Street‘, and you’d be very prophetic.  She just can’t disentangle herself from those two.  She gave Bernie Sanders a few slogans in order to mimic him; but she’s back again, becoming more aggressive overseas.  And even Obama—and she scares the generals.  (c. 38:58)

“So, we’re at a very, very serious point, as you’ve said, around the country, Jill, in this country.  I know every four years they say ‘serious point’.  But, when you’ve got these two candidates, all of whom want more militarism and more corporate power and who knows what else Trump wants—he takes everything personally.  I can see him attacking a country, whose leader insulted him.  He has no self-control.  He has no impulse self-control.  He has very serious personality defects.”  (c. 39:29)  [10]

[KPFA‘s Mitch Jeserich cuts into the broadcast, as this broadast took place during a fund drive period, to appeal for financial support for free speech radio KPFA, so that it doesn’t have to go off the air or sell out by succumbing to corporate money and influence]  (c. 42:50)

[Begin transcript segment, which comes to us from William Brighenti, the “Barefoot Accountant“, as it was cut out of the KPFA broadcast, apparently to make room for fundraising pitching.]

“And, so, here we are.  We have a few weeks left before the election and people have got to rally Hofstra.  You want to go and rally Hofstra.  A lot of people in the New York City area on September 26, Monday, September 26th, the first Presidential debate.  The media is going to all be there.  If there are 20, 50, 100 thousand people there, saying, open up the debates for the third parties, I think that will begin getting the attention of the mass media.

“So, I urge listeners in the greater New York City area to go to these peaceful rallies, and with your placards.  And make your demands known because the press is all there.  You go where the press is.

“What do you say, Jill?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Yes, definitely.  This is where the American people are.  This is what we demand.  Over three-quarters of the American people are saying:  It’s time to open up the debates.  We have rejected these two candidates at the highest levels of disapproval in our history.

“What’s wrong with this picture?  You know, what’s wrong with this picture is that Americans not only have a right to vote, we have a right to know who we can vote for.  It’s time to override this fraud being committed on the American voter of the two-party tyranny, of this private corporation, of the Commission on Presidential Debates.  We the voters demand the right to be in charge here, to be informed, to be empowered.

“And let me add that, at this moment, we are seeing before our very eyes a political realignment.  We’ve seen the Republican Party come apart at the seam with Donald Trump taking the remnants over the cliff.  We’ve seen the basic foundation of the Republican Party move into the Democratic Party inside of Hillary’s campaign.

“And you have endorsements, everyone from Meg Whitman to the neocon John Negroponte and others, who are all saying, you know:  We’re with Hillary now.  So, we’ve got a big happy, one corporate family now uniting the corporate Democrats and the corporate Republicans.  The people of integrity inside the Bernie campaign have split off and are unifying with the Greens.

“So, this is actually a transformative political moment.  That realignment, that has been in the works here for quite some time.  It has to be.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “As I was saying, half a democracy is showing up and people have got, not only, to agree with this agenda, some of these third party listeners, they’ve got to show up.  People have got to show up, showing up at meetings, rallies, marches, city council, courtrooms.  You’ve got to show up.

“We have a Democratic Party, that cannot defend the American people from the worst Republican Party in history because it’s a Democratic Party of war and Wall Street.  And we have two parties, who are basically hijacking our country for their corporate paymasters.

“And, if we focus on 535 members of Congress—that’s not all that many—we’re going to see a fast turnaround.  So, focus all your concerns, all the information, the kind of agenda the Green Party has, turn it right on your Senators and Representatives.

“So, I want to ask—Steve, Steve, wants to ask a question of Jill.”

STEVE SKROVAN:  “Dr. Stein, talk a little bit about your vice presidential running mate Ajamu Baraka.  Who is he?  And how does he compliment you, as a candidate?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Great.  So, Ajamu Baraka is a human rights advocate and an international human rights advocate, who’s been defending racial justice, economic justice, worker justice, indigenous justice, and justice for black and brown people all over the world, and, in the United States, has been helping to lead the charge against the death penalty here, and is an extremely eloquent and empowering person.  And one of the great things about running with him is that we speak to all of America.

“He comes out of the tradition of the African-American intellectuals, the people who’ve really been standing up for African-American rights and economic rights and workers rights.  And, because he speaks in the language of his community, and makes no bones about it, he really invites in a whole new demographic of voters who have been locked out—African-American and black and brown people and indigenous people—who have felt like this system has no place for them.  And he is unapologetic about standing up for the rights of the oppressed people and against colonialism and against imperialism.  And he’s very inspirational.

“And it is so much fun to be out there on the campaign trail with him because who comes out is totally different from anything I have seen before in progressive campaigns because he is so empowering and inspiring.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “When I’ve heard him, he talks in a very calm voice, too.  He talks in a very steady, calm voice, full of facts.”  [11]

[End of transcript segment, which comes to us from William Brighenti, the “Barefoot Accountant“, as it was cut out of the KPFA broadcast, apparently to make room for fundraising pitching.  Resume KPFA broadcast transcript.] (c. 42:50)

“Now, as we close, Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party, tell our listeners how they can get to read your agenda, how they can get to your website.  And say it slowly and twice.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Okay.  So, again, the website is Jill2016.com.  That’s Jill2016.com.  And our social media is DrJillStein and that’s D-R, no period, D-R-Jill-Stein, all one word.  And you can see our media appearances as well as connect to our Power to the People agenda, our Green New Deal, our plan to abolish student debt, and our plan to, actually, create a whole new foreign policy based on international law and human rights.

“That means we don’t supply $100 billion dollars worth of weapons to the war criminals in Saudi Arabia, nor do we supply $8 million dollars a day to the Israeli army, that is also violating international law and human rights.  So, there are real solutions right now for us.  If we stand up with the courage of our convictions, there is no stopping us.

“So, join the team.  Come out to Hofstra, again, on September 26 [2016].  And let’s begin to take our democracy back.  We are in the target hairs in this election.  We are all asking whether we are going to have a world at all or not going forward.

“If we are going to save our hides, we need to start with democracy.  Democracy needs to start with an open presidential debate.  So, come on out.  And let’s take back the promise of our democracy.”  (c. 44:48)

DR. JILL STEIN:  I had a taped interview [with Judy Woodruff of PBS], which was approximately six or seven minutes long.  And it was actually posted—I think it was live-streamed, in fact—on Facebook.  And, then, it was played on the News Hour that night.  And some of our astute watchdog supporters compared the two.  And they discovered that some of my most important statements critiquing Hillary Clinton […] was cut out, and also my discussion about the Trans-Pacific Partnership […].

DR. RALPH NADER:  “And, listeners, you can call your local newspaper, your local TV, radio station, say why aren’t they putting third-party candidates on.  Call NPR.  Call PBS.  Why aren’t they putting third-party candidates on?”

“You had an experience recently with Judy Woodruff of PBS.  Can you explain that to our listeners?  This is the Public Broadcasting System, Judy Woodruff on the News Hour.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “That’s right.  I had a taped interview which was approximately six or seven minutes long.  And it was actually posted—I think it was live-streamed, in fact—on Facebook.  And, then, it was played on the News Hour that night.

“And some of our astute watchdog supporters compared the two.  And they discovered that some of my most important statements critiquing Hillary Clinton and why she is not going to save our hides, whether it was her war policy or for shipping our jobs overseas with NAFTA, her history of dismantling the social safety net and supporting the destruction of aid to families with dependent children, putting millions more children and families in poverty.  You know, I told some hard truths about Hillary Clinton and why the lesser evil is not okay, that, apparently, my discussion of Hillary Clinton was cut out and also my discussion about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and why it is an absolute betrayal of our democratic sovereignty and why it must be stopped, and why anybody supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership is, essentially, betraying the basic principles of democracy.

“So, those two discussions were cut out of the PBS broadcast, which essentially took the teeth out of it.  So, yeah, I think PBS needs to have us on again for a longer segment, in fact, so that we can tell the whole truth.”  (c. 46:49)

[KPFA broadcast of Ralph Nader Radio Hour is interrupted here, as Mitch Jeserich cuts in to appeal for listener support for free speech radio KPFA]  [12] (c. 50:03)

DR. RALPH NADER:  “What’s interesting is this election year has made the citizen groups off-limits.  All these citizen groups—local, state, national—that really do things and improve the country, they’re never asked to be in these electoral campaign discussions.  It’s all these pundits, all these consultants, and the candidates, as if they’re in a bubble leaving democracy off-limits.

“Now, you campaign around the country, Jill Stein.  You connect with local issues.  You connect with local citizen groups, don’t you?”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Oh, absolutely.  And, you know, we’re not out holding fundraisers in the Hamptons or in Beverly Hills.  My running mate, Ajamu Baraka, was out camping out with the homeless in Baltimore last night.  We were both recently at the Standing Rock Sioux encampment, where, in fact, we are both now, a warrant is out for our arrest for participating in civil disobedience to support this very critical stand being taken on behalf of our water, on behalf of human rights, on behalf of our climate.

“We were out there with the people, whose homes were flooded out in Southern Louisiana.  We are out there on the front line with everyday people fighting the real frontline battle, that real Americans are fighting.

“And let me support what you just said, Ralph, about everyday Americans really having the power here.  People may remember, or you may have heard, if you weren’t there during the Nixon years, we had one of the worst presidents ever on record.  But, we, the American people, have the sense of our own power.  We were in the driver’s seat.  We forced Richard Nixon and the Congress who established—and thanks to your leadership, Ralph.  We supported you; and we got the Environmental Protection Act and Agency.  We ended the war in Vietnam, and brought the troops home.  We got OSHA established with your leadership.  We got the Supreme Court.  We pressured the Supreme Court into supporting a woman’s right to choose.

“So, there should be just no end to what we can do when we operate with the courage of our convictions and we get out there in the street, in the voting booth, we assert our power and we take our democracy back.

“And I’m getting the sign now from my campaign, that we are about to run into our next event here at the University of Maine in Orono.  So, I will have to bid you adieu.  But it has been really wonderful and inspiring as always talking with you, Ralph, and you.  Steve and I just so greatly appreciate, in fact, I give you credit or perhaps the blame for my candidacy.

“From the very start, you have been the inspiration to me to get involved with politics, someone who was not politically active for the first 50 years of my life.  I think, for the next 50 years, I’m not going to be able to stop because of the light, that you shine for me and so many millions of Americans.  You may have been ahead of the curve, but the curve is catching up to you, Ralph Nader, right now in a big way.  Well, we can’t thank you enough.”

DR. RALPH NADER:  “Well, thank you very much, Dr. Jill Stein.  We’ve been talking with the Green Party Presidential candidate.  She is at Orono, Maine, as we record this interview.  And she’ll be at Hofstra on Monday, September 26 for the big first Presidential debate.  And we’re looking for a huge peaceful protest when the eyes of the mass media are focused on that location.  Thank you very much, Jill Stein.”

DR. JILL STEIN:  “Thank you so much, Ralph. Take care, all the best.”

STEVE SKROVAN:  “We have been speaking with Green Party Presidential candidate, Jill Stein.  For more information on her candidacy, go to Jill2016.com.  We will also link to it on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour website.” 

[SNIP] (c. 59:59)

Learn more at RALPH NADER RADIO HOUR.

***

[1]  On Dr. Ralph Nader’s professional title:  Dr. Nader holds a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton (1955) and an LL.B., or Bachelor of Laws, from Harvard University (1958), which is equivalent to a J.D., or Juris Doctor professional doctorate.

Many law schools converted their basic law degree programmes from LL.B. to J.D. in the 1960s, and permitted prior LL.B. graduates to retroactively receive the new doctorate degrees by returning their LL.B. in exchange for a J.D. degree.  (Evidently, Dr. Nader was too modest to ask to exchange his Bachelor of Laws for a Juris Doctor degree.  But we’ll emphasise the equivalency of Dr. Nader’s credentials with other professional doctorates.  Dr. Nader is just as much a Doctor of Law as any other attorney, or just as Dr. Jill Stein is a Doctor of Medicine.)

Yale graduates who received LL.B. degrees prior to 1971 were similarly permitted to change their degree to a J.D., although many did not take the option, retaining their LL.B. degrees.

[2]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  The Ralph Nader Radio Hour, this one-hour broadcast hosted by Ralph Nader, Monday, 19 SEP 2016, 11:00 PDT.

Summary from KPFA.org archive page:

“We are joined this week by Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein,who talks with Ralph about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, third parties, the media, the TPP, the Presidential debates, and much, much more!”

UPDATE—[21 SEP 2016]  This broadcast featuring Dr. Jill Stein was rebroadcast:

[3]  I got through transcribing a portion of this transcript, which is no small task, when I realised that the combination of Dr. Ralph Nader interviewing Dr. Jill Stein about her 2016 presidential campaign might just be popular enough to have inspired some other kindhearted soul out there to have transcribed at least some of this broadcast.  And, lo and behold, William Brighenti, the “Barefoot Accountant”, has done us all a great service by roughly transcribing this historic broadcast (or having it transcribed).

This gave us at Lumpenproletariat a great boost in our transcription process.  But we still went through the entire broadcast and cleaned up and edited and verified the transcription as per our usual transcription style, including enriched text with embedded links to aid in learning, comprehension, and to encourage deeper analysis and study of the content.

[4]  Even KPFA’s Mitch Jeserich on Letters and Politics seemed to reduce, or truncate, Dr. Stein’s responses to mere soundbites, such as, for example, on 18 AUG 2016.

[5]  On this point of public works programmes and the goal of full employment, not to mention the Fight For 15 activism, of which Dr. Ralph Nader spoke, which drove many people to Bernie Sanders’ campaign, it’s important to point out that two of your author’s former UMKC economics professors actually went on the campaign trail with Bernie Sanders:  Dr. Stephanie Kelton and Dr. William K. Black.

Dr. Kelton was then Chair of the Economics Department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of the few heterodox economics departments in the United States, when your author took lectures (circa 2014) on intermediate macroeconomic analysis with Dr. Stephanie Kelton (as well as auditing some of her graduate level lectures).  Dr. Kelton went on to be hired by Senator Bernie Sanders to work as Chief Economist in the Senate Minority Budget Committee.  Then, when Sanders ran for the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Presidency, Dr. Kelton continued on as a chief economist in Bernie Sanders primary campaign.  Dr. William K. Black also joined the Sanders campaign team, providing his expertise in law and economics.

Dr. Stephanie Kelton, Dr. William K. Black, and Messina. Most Fridays at UMKC featured economics seminars, which often invited economists from around the world to speak at UMKC. Then we would often have dinner gatherings afterwards, such as this one.

Dr. Stephanie Kelton, Dr. William K. Black, and then-econ-undergrad Messina. Most Fridays, our UMKC Econ Club featured economics seminars, which often invited economists from around the world to speak at UMKC. Then we would often have dinner gatherings afterwards, such as this one.

This was all very exciting for us coming out of UMKC and the world of heterodox economics because of the radical policy proposals UMKC economics has been proposing for years, including modern monetary theory (MMT, or modern money theory) and the Job Guarantee Programme (or ELR programme, Employer of Last Resort).

We hear a lot of talk across the political spectrum about the need for jobs and to combat poverty.  Yet, amazingly, somehow, perhaps due to cowardice, Bernie Sanders never once—as far as we know—mentioned MMT or the Job Guarantee programme.  Basically, Sanders could have gone on the campaign trail and promoted the Job Guarantee programme, which can literally end involuntary unemployment immediately.  Then, Sanders could have easily defeated Hillary Clinton in the primary.  Even without including MMT and the Job Guarantee programme, Sanders could have contested Hillary Clinton’s primary election violations.  But Sanders seems to have sold out, or have been intimidated into conceding to Hillary Clinton, because after Sanders was called into the principal’s office and sat down behind closed doors with President Obama, he shifted gears to conceding to Hillary Clinton and endorsing her without qualification.  That doesn’t even make sense, unless he was seriously compromised in some way, either through fear or intimidation.

And, now, Dr. Jill Stein has continued on the campaign trail and talking about jobs.  But it’s a shame that, somehow, the world remains in the dark about MMT and the fact that we could literally end involuntary unemployment today.  I’ve also emailed various programmers at KPFA about this.  But none of them have responded.  Actually, Mitch Jeserich replied once, but only to say that he didn’t know much about macroeconomics, but that he would ‘look into it’.

It’s somewhat ironic, now, that Politico.com has published their list of 50 most influential people with Bernie Sanders in the #1 spot and Dr. Stephanie Kelton in the #44 spot.  I guess it doesn’t reflect negatively on Dr. Kelton that Bernie Sanders refused to inform the American people about MMT or how sovereign monetary systems work or how the USA’s sovereign monetary system means the state can afford to spend without fiscal constraints.  The only constraints are real resource constraints.

Modern money theory (MMT), as taught at heterodox economics departments, such as at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), proves that the USA’s state monetary system can afford to spend for public purpose because it is the sovereign currency issuer of its own currency, namely the US dollar.  Also, the fact that the US dollar is a major international reserve currency further buttresses the USA’s monetary sovereignty.

Essentially, the USA can afford to spend without fiscal constraints.  The only government spending constraints are real resource constraints, as Dr. Kelton often says.

“MMT emphasises the relationship between the state’s power over its money and its power to do things, real things, to conduct policy in an unconstrained way.  It emphasises that the state, because of its power over money, has a form of power to command resources in the economy.”  —Dr. Stephanie Kelton 

The ‘Angry Birds’ Approach to Understanding Deficits in the Modern Economy” presented by Dr. Stephanie Kelton at the Student Union Theatre, University of Missouri-Kansas City on 19 NOV 2014

[6]  Point of information:  CNN hosted a 2016 Presidential Town Hall Featuring the Green Party’s presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka.

[7]  MITCH JESERICH:  (c. 23:19)  “And Ralph Nader would know.  His office is just down the street from the United States Congress on Capitol Hill.  [SNIP]

[8]  Most economists agree that the next economic bubble to burst and devastate the American economy is the looming student debt bubble.

[9]  MITCH JESERICH:  (c. 39:29)

[10]  MITCH JESERICH:  (c. 46:49)

  • (c. 50:02)  Mitch Jeserich and/or Quincy McCoy cut back to the section, which they previously cut out above.  This time, skipping the critique of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party and jumping to a safe and tepid question by co-host Steve Skrovan about identifying Dr. Jill Stein’s vice presidential running mate. Ajamu Baraka.
  • (c. 51:55)  Mitch Jeserich and/or Quincy McCoy

***

[Ralph Nader Radio Hour image via KPFA.org.]

[Dr. Jill Stein image with quotation by Flickr user Democracy Chronicles.]

[19 SEP 2016]

[Last modified  10:24 PDT  22 SEP 2016]

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