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2016_Republican_National_Convention_LogoLUMPENPROLETARIAT—The Republican Party has convened once again to confirm the nomination of their candidate for the presidency of the United States.  The 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) has begun today in Cleveland, Ohio.  And it’s pretty much locked in for Donald Trump, a man who has never held public office, but has gained wide notoriety and celebrity for being a real estate mogul, branding his name, and making it virtually synonymous with wealth.  Trump is, perhaps, most famous for being a reality TV star.

But, for most of us, Trump is the most authoritarian, anti-intellectual, and regressive Republican candidate in memory.  We know our democratic process is not very appealing for non-politicos.  It’s not entertainment, at least, not intentionally.  But the national conventions are very important because they determine the dominant candidates for the US presidency.

Various free speech radio (and TV) broadcasts have provided excellent coverage, unlike most of the corporate press, which has virtually birthed the first media-created candidate in Trump through sheer media saturation, even against the original schemes of the conservative establishment, who would have preferred someone like Jeb Bush.

The Convention of the Oppressed” by Political Revolution TV (17 JUL 2016)

Hard Knock Radio looked today at alternatives to the narrow confines of the two-party system, what Ralph Nader aptly calls the two-party dictatorship, to speak with 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and professor and public intellectual, Dr. Cornel WestDr. West has now publicly endorsed Dr. Stein.  “I am with her,” said Dr. West, “the only progressive woman in the race,”  Listen here. [1]

Flashpoints has provided coverage of RNC Day 1, including a conversation with Cheri Honkala, who was the 2012 Vice Presidential candidate, alongside Dr. Jill Stein.  Honkala is also the co-founder of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and co-founder and National Coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.  Also featured during this broadcast is one of our favorite public speakers on issues of socioeconomic justice, Carl Dix, a founding member, and a longtime representative, of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.  This broadcast also featured a discussion with Russell Mokhiber (editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter), and more.  Listen here. [2]

Pacifica Radio‘s national coverage will be featured throughout the week.  Pacifica Radio broadcasters will be at the Republican National Convention (RNC) all week bringing us a sense of the proceedings there on the ground.  As “Dump Trump” protests flared outside, Pacifica’s national broadcast gave us an accurate sense of the energy on the ground, inside and outside the Republican National Convention.

The theme of the 2016 RNC today was “Make America Safe Again“. [3] Just in case anyone already felt safe, the RNC did their best to make people feel unsafe.  RNC organisers brought a succession of family members on stage, whose loved ones were killed by undocumented immigrants, so as to fan the flames of anti-immigrant sentiment already fuelled by a callous corporate media machine determined to scapegoat migrant workers, rather than to think seriously about economic policies, such as NAFTA and CAFTA, which have created waves of economic refugees who’ve had no other choice but to brave great uncertainty and hardship in the pursuit of economic survival for themselves and their families across hostile political borders. [4]  This four-hour broadcast was hosted by free speech radio’s Mitch Jeserich, Askia Muhammed, and Davey D.  AlterNet‘s Adele Stan joined the discussion and summarised Trump‘s campaign succintly:

What I think you have is kind of distillation of the resentments on which this party [the Republican Party] has been built upon for the last fifty years.”

Listen here. [5]

Messina

***

[Working draft transcript of actual radio broadcast by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and Pacifica Radio Network.]

PACIFICA RADIO—[18 JUL 2016]  [Audio was broadcast from the early speakers at the Republican National Convention, including reality TV star Willie Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame), actor Scott Baio (of Happy Days, etc.), and others.  Various speakers did their best to recast Trump as a ‘man of the people’, rather than the cunning, perhaps, unscrupulous business elite, who has faced thousands of lawsuits and is generally viewed as bordering on criminal, even associated with organised crime.]

[Adele Stan (of AlterNet) joined the broadcast to offer some healthy analysis.]  (c. 13:41)

MITCH JESERICH:   “Again, we’re speaking to Adele Stan, who is the Washington, D.C. editor with AlterNet and columnist with The American Prospect.  She has been covering conservative politics and the Republican Party for a number of years now.  She is here in Cleveland at the RNC.

“Um, wow!  What Scott Baio said there, saying that Hillary Clinton is somebody who is ‘entitled’ to the—”

ADELE STAN:  “Who feels that she’s entitled.”

MITCH JESERICH:   “That was pretty remarkable.”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah.”

MITCH JESERICH:   “Again, the first two speakers in prime time at this Convention are Scott Baio and Willie Robertson—”

ADELE STAN:  “I mean such lightweights.”

MITCH JESERICH:   “—of Duck Dynasty.”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah.”

MITCH JESERICH:   “What, what is happening, Adele, to the Republican Party?

ADELE STAN:  “Well, I mean the Republican Party has always been sort of a collection of, you know, different factions, that have different, sort of, resentments, that often overlap.  Right?

“So, and this is code.  Um, well, I don’t know what the Scott Baio code is; but I do—”

MITCH JESERICH:   “[laughs]

ADELE STAN:  “—know what the Robertson code is, which is anti-LGBT code to the viewership, to the audience.  Right?

“There was such a big controversy over comments, that Phil Robertson—this guy’s brother—had made about queer folk.  And that made him a hero to people on the right.  And he got a whole mess of speaking gigs out of that and all that.  (c. 15:00)

“The thing, that struck me about what Baio said was the “free stuff” line. [6]  Right?

MITCH JESERICH:  “Yeah.”

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “Don’t forget, Adele, that when Robertson spoke—”

ADELE STAN:  “Yep.”

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “—he said:  I’m from Loo-siana.  Let’s make that clear.”

ADELE STAN:  “Loo-siana.  That’s right.”  (c. 15:18)

[SNIP]

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “And he also fully owned being a redneck.  And, so, yes, he’s anti-LGBTQ.  But he’s also a redneck and proud of it.”

ADELE STAN:  “Yep.  That’s right.”

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “And claiming that rednecks are proud to be Trump supporters.”

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “Now, that’s part of his code as well.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.  You’re right.”

MITCH JESERICH:  “Well, now, let me also bring into the conversation Davey D with Pacifica Station KPFA, host of Hard Knock Radio.  Davey, I know you’ve been out with the protest.  We’re gonna get to that in a moment.  But I do wanna give you an opportunity to weigh in on what we’ve heard so far.”  (c. 15:53)

[SNIP]

DAVEY D:  “[SNIP]  (c. 16:08) But the code about the free stuff was very interesting—”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah.”

DAVEY D:  “—because that was to imply that people of color, black people in particular, are looking for handouts.”

ADELE STAN:  “That’s right.”

DAVEY D:  “And Trump has a whole record of, you know, scheming and getting handouts and getting tax breaks and all sorts of stuff—”

ADELE STAN:  “Oh, it’s all sorts of stuff, sure.”

DAVEY D:  “—including on 9/11.  He went and applied and got these small business loans, that didn’t apply to him, that made a killing.  So, you know, you could just Google that and see that for yourself.”

ADELE STAN:  “And bankruptcies might be considered a little bit of free stuff, right?”

DAVEY D:  “Right.  But that won’t be applied to him because he’s a quote-unquote ‘businessman’.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.”

DAVEY D:  “But, definitely, there was a lotta code.  And the whole thing about the redneck thing, that’s a shot across the bow in saying:  Look.  This is the party for you guys.”

ADELE STAN:  “Of white folks.”

DAVEY D:  “Of white folks. Yes.”  (c. 16:54)

MITCH JESERICH:  “So, Adele?  Do you feel like that has changed for the Republican Party?”

ADELE STAN:  “What I think has changed is that the code has become more apparent.  I think this is, you know, the way the Republican Party has been trending for a very, very long time.  It’s just that there was a patina of ideology over it.

“And what Trump has done is, like a Band-Aid, ripped off any patina of ideology.  There’s nothing, no coherent ideology on economics or trade, regardless of what he says.  What it really is is, you know, this has always been a collection of resentments by a certain segment of the white population.  And, now, it’s just okay to be that, baldly and nakedly, without any kind of pretense.”

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “It was a dog whistle, as they say.  Now, it’s a bullhorn.”

ADELE STAN:  “Oh, that’s right.”  (c. 17:45)

DAVEY D:  “I definitely agree with that.”

MITCH JESERICH:  “Now, Davey D, you were outside all day covering the protest.”

DAVEY D:  “Yeah.  There was a big march against poverty.  And several thousand people showed up.  And highlighting that was Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, and Rage Against the Machine, who have formed a supergroup called Prophets of Rage.  So, they performed—”

ADELE STAN:  “Oh, wow.”

DAVEY D:  “—on a flatbed truck.  Among them was a number of local artists from here, Rebel Diaz out of the Bronx, a gentleman out of Baltimore, who shouted out that this was the anniversary—since we’re talking about people killed by the police—of Tyrone West.  So, he talked about that passionately and connected all those dots, of course, talking about Tamir Rice; and his people were there.  And it was a big showing.

“What was interesting there was a couple, that lived across the street from the park, who put out the American flag, told people to get off their lawn, called the police, took pictures, and wanted this entire event, that had thousands of people, shut down.  And it was very interesting because the police did come.  But, luckily, they had the permits and everything.

“But there was just this sense of—”

ADELE STAN:  “Wow.”

DAVEY D:  “—like:  This is what’s wrong with America.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.”

DAVEY D:  “And they pretty much said that from their porch.  This is what is wrong.  And:  You people need to leave!

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

DAVEY D:  “And it was a very interesting situation.  But today’s theme was about ending poverty.  And these people were poor as heck, which was very interesting because, really, the theme of the day was to help you out, that person out.  But many people did get the message.

Cheri Honkala was one of the speakers.  She, of course, was the Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate in 2012.  And her remarks, I think, really crystallised what the day was about, which was:  Make sure that we can speak for ourselves.”

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

DAVEY D:  “We don’t need a bunch of non-profits pretending.  We’re here.  And there were lots of people here to speak for themselves.  And this is what she had to say.”  (c. 19:47)

[Broadcast cuts to audio from the street protest outside of the RNC]

CHERI HONKALA:  “[…] people of America.  [audience cheers]

“And we—if Fannie Lou Hamer were here, would say:  We are sick and tired of being sick and tired!  [audience cheers]

“If you can hear the rage in my voice, it’s because we’re not only up against the Republicans, we’re up against the Democrats.”

AUDIENCE MEMBER(S):  “That’s right!”  [audience cheers]

CHERI HONKALA:  “And, you know, it’s easy to hate a Trump.  But the Democrats are passing a law around a lot of soft money.  And they’re trying to create a different kind of poor people’s movements, run by the non-profit industrial complex. [7]  (c. 20:46)

“But those of us, that know what it’s like to try to come together and get some milk for our kids, those of us that have been arrested over 200 times just to feed, clothe, and house people in this country, we’re gettin’ tired.

We’re gettin’ tired about the fake people talkin’ about how we’re tryin’ to feed our babies!  We are so tired of it!

“So, all of those, that are out there in the non-profit industrial complex, tryin’ to tell me that I gotta vote for the least of two evils—”

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  “Fuck ’em!”

CHERI HONKALA:  “—you don’t know how we live!  [audience cheers]  You are not from a front-line community!

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  “That’s right!”

CHERI HONKALA:  “Our lives, today, are like a gaping wound!  We can’t wait no more!  We don’t have the air conditioning in our house.  We’re the ones, that drive around the clock to get here, just to be here, just to go back to the City of Philadelphia to march again on opening day of the Democratic National Convention[audience cheers]

“And everywhere I go people tell me:  Cheri, you can’t say that on the stage[audience:  Yes, you can, Cheri!]  Well, guess what.  Fuck you!  I’ll say whatever I need to on the stage!  [expletives deleted from free speech radio broadcast]  [audience cheers]

[end of Davey D’s audio from the street protest at the 2016 RNC, Monday, 18 JUL 2016; begin transcript of Cheri Honkala’s speech from a YouTube video]

“I, too, became an ordained minister.  But the reason I went online and got ordained is because I got tired of speaking at funerals and paying somebody else to bury the people that I’m in the trenches with.  And I wanted to bury people myself.

“So, when people tell me to get to the back of the line, tell me some other organisations, or some fake people can speak on my behalf, damn it, you ain’t taking my voice away!

“The most important message, that I can give to any of you, that for real, for real live below the federal poverty level, don’t you dare have anybody else speak for you!  They ain’t in the boxing ring!  And they better not tell you how to punch!

“I will continue to walk to the front of every single line because, damn it, my voice is important!  And you can lock me up!  But you can’t lock up the idea of ending poverty in America!  And the people, that won’t sell us down the river are the poor people, themselves.  Thank you!

“Join me on opening day of the Democratic National Convention, where we, either, are going to vote for a different woman, maybe Dr. Jill Stein or, if we don’t vote for the other woman, join me; become a soldier because we’re gonna organise the next American Spring!.”

Cheri Honkala at protest outside the 2016 Republican National Convention, Monday, 18 JUL 2016

DAVEY D:  “One of the things, that I think is important is that I was in Cleveland eight years ago.  This is in deep east Cleveland.  And this is an impoverished place.  We talk about cities being gentrified.  That place is not gentrified.  It is like Detroit, burned out buildings.  And we talked about that, being out there.  (c. 22:56)

“So, this was a thing for the community.  The community was there.  They were very intentional about being out there and making sure that the face of poverty really embraced—”

ADELE STAN:  “Mm.”

DAVEY D:  “—people who are dirt poor.  And, when you go out there, you know, being from Oakland and living in New York, that’s poor.  That’s poor.  There’re still the abandoned buildings—”

ADELE STAN:  “Wow.”

DAVEY D:  “—folks, who are really just tryin’ to get by.”

ADELE STAN:  “Mm.”

DAVEY D:  “In a big way, it’s a Tale of Two Clevelands. [8]

MITCH JESERICH:  “Davey D, coming into this convention, there was a lot of talk about what would happen on the streets, that people were gonna be armed.  That you were gonna have neo-Nazis show up.  That you were gonna have the New Black Panther Party show up armed.  Did you see?  And we’re gonna hear some sound that you have from today’s march as well.  But did you see any of that?”  (c. 23:44)

DAVEY D:  “People were very clear.  This is the other thing.  Armed black people have been here.  And the police responded by trying to get the law changed—”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.”

DAVEY D:  “—for open carry suspended for a week.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.”

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “The police unions.”

DAVEY D:  “Yes, the police unions.  Many people are very clear that they are not for the gun control thing.  And that has been a speaking point, that doesn’t resonate.  I’ve been very intentional about asking people how they feel.”

ADELE STAN:  “Okay.”

DAVEY D:  “They’re like:  We’re not trying to get rid of our guns any time soon.”

ADELE STAN:  “Mm.”

DAVEY D:  “Who’s speaking for us? And these are people, that are dealing with black-on-black crime issues.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.”

DAVEY D:  “These are folks, that are from the community, not just in Cleveland, but also in Florida and other places.  So, that myth needs to be put to rest, if we’re, you know—it’s not the reality from the people, that are getting—”

ADELE STAN:  “Well, there are folks, that will tell you that they believe that gun control was really implemented as a way of disarming African-Americans—”

DAVEY D:  “And folks are very clear about that—”

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

DAVEY D:  “—very, very clear about the attempts to put a law into place for the week—”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.”

DAVEY D:  “—underscores that situation in a big way.  And folks aren’t feeling it, aren’t having it.  But, no, nobody showed up.  Their security was tight. [laughs]

ASKI MUHAMMED:  “Davey D, on Saturday, the New Black Panther Party had a march.”

DAVEY D:  “Yeah.”

ASKI MUHAMMED:  “They were gonna march and we’re gonna get out of town.  And, interestingly, they did not bring weapons and said: That would send the wrong message for us to bring weapons here, even though that’s part of our mantra.”

DAVEY D:  “Right.  Well, I can’t speak to what they were talking about.  There is a history of gun clubs throughout Texas, here, and other places, that often aren’t highlighted, often aren’t talked about.”

ADELE STAN:  “I didn’t know that.”

DAVEY D:  “Yeah.  So, many black folks, they will tell you.  You know?”

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

DAVEY D:  “So, that narrative has been kind of erased in the mainstream.  When we talk about it, you hear about gun buy-back programmes and things of that nature.  But that’s not a tradition in a lot fo places.  And people need to know that.  And if you don’t believe me, come out here and go to the hood and talk to folks.  And they’re very clear about that.

“And I think it was part of what Cheri was saying.  Too many people are speaking on their behalf.”

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

DAVEY D:  “And they have nothing to do with the realities of what is going on.  And that was pretty stark.”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah.”

MITCH JESERICH:  “Tell us about the march.  And how large was it?”

DAVEY D:  “The march had a couple of thousand people at the end of the show with Public Enemy and Rage, Prophets of Rage.  People went and they marched to downtown.  And they were also very strategic about that.  Poor folks were in the front.  But Tom Morello, he was at one part of the march.  B Real was in another.  And Chuck D

ADELE STAN:  “Oh, that’s interesting.”

DAVEY D:  “—put up the rear.  So, this meant that people were kind of spread out all around.  It wasn’t like we were just gonna follow one person.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right, right.”

DAVEY D:  “So, Tom was like in the middle somewhere.”

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

DAVEY D:  “And the bulk of it was in the front.  And they were very intentional about having the star power spread throughout.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.”

DAVEY D:  “A lot of people went.  And they brought attention.  And people form the neighborhoods joined the march.  And there was a lot of conversation.  It was very peaceful.  But we also got to talk to a lot of people, who pointed out the military gear that the police had.”

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

DAVEY D:  “You know, dressed as stormtroopers.  There were also police from all around the country.”

ADELE STAN:  “Yes, there are.”

DAVEY D:  “There are police from Massachusetts.  I saw Boston police.  I think there are police from New York.  So, you know—”

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “California Highway Patrols.”

DAVEY D:  “California, yeah.  So, there are thousands of police here.”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah.  I asked a cop for directions.  He said:  I don’t know.  I’m not from here.”

DAVEY D:  “Yeah.  I’m not from here.  But they’re all wearing today’s color of black.  They’re all wearing stormtrooper chic, which is very interesting.

“But here’s a clip from the end of the march after we marched a good five hours, not five hours, but five miles in the 96-degree heat.  And here’s what was going on.”  (c. 27:37)

[broadcast cuts to Davey D’s audio from the march]

[SNIP]  (c. 41:11)

ADELE STAN:  “Well, that’s the thing about Trump, right?  There are people, who—and this is my theory about why I think Trump will do better in the popular vote than the polls predict—”

DAVEY D:  “Yeah.”

ADELE STAN:  “—is that there are people, who do not want to tell pollsters they are going to vote for Donald Trump because it’s a little bit embarrassing.”  (c. 41:28)

[SNIP]

DAVEY D:  “You know what?  The other thing is you can’t underestimate his popularity, in terms of his TV show.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right.”

DAVEY D:  “People can laugh.  And, you know, you can say what you want.  But people identify that.  And I see that.  I’ve asked people.  And they’re like: I love his Apprentice [TV show].  And he’s a sharp businessman.  And we need that.

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.”

DAVEY D:  “And he’s an outsiderAnd he speaks valiantly.”

ADELE STAN:  “Right?”

DAVEY D:  “You know.  The last time people joked like this—I mean some of us are old enough to remember—people thought Ronald Reagan was a clown.”

ADELE STAN:  “Oh, that’s right.”

DAVEY D:  “And people thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was a clown.  Right?”

ADELE STAN:  “M-hm.  Right.”

DAVEY D:  “And both of those guys served two terms in their respective offices.  So, folks can say what they want.  They can pooh-pooh the whole thing.  The most popular things, that people watch are reality TV shows.”

ADELE STAN:  “Isn’t that the truth?  And it’s what women watch.  (c. 42:15)  [Adele Stan pointed out how ratings numbers showed that mostly women watched Donald Trump’s reality TV show.  So, although women may not like certain things Trump says about women, they may still vote for him.]  [SNIP]

MITCH JESERICH:  “So, Adele Stan, what do you think this means for the Republican Party?  Is it a new party?  (c. 44:15)

ADELE STAN:  “[SNIP]  Well, I mean I do think that it is going to be configured differently in certain ways.  But, you know.  So, what you’ll really just have is a more vituperative party, where certain things that people used to speak in a more thicker code are gonna be permissible.  But I think that, you know—I don’t see huge, huge changes going on in the party.  I think what you have is kind of distillation of the resentments on which this party has been built upon for the last fifty years.”

MITCH JESERICH:  “How about the Republican activists, that you’ve covered for a number of years?  Talk to me about some of who they are; and how are they viewing Trump?”  (c. 45:12)

ADELE STAN:  “Well, you know, people who want to find power will ally with what they perceive as power.  And Trump is seen as a strong man.  So, the operatives like Ralph Reed, the former director of the Christian Coalition and still a political operative in the GOP, of course, he’s allied with Trump.  Tony Perkins, the Chair of the Family Research Council, another big evangelical group—”

DAVEY D:  “Where are the Rand Paul folks?  Remember the Rand Paul Revolution a couple o’ years ago?”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah!”

DAVEY D:  “What happened to them?”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah.  They are divided.  Some of ’em are gonna vote for Trump.  Some of ’em aren’t.  You know?  Some of ’em are gonna vote for [Libertarian] Gary Johnson.  But, you know, in terms of—Rand Paul always had a coded white identity message, that a lot of mainstream media were not picking up.  They weren’t hip to it.  You know?”

ASKIA MUHAMMED:  “A lot of black people weren’t picking up on it because many black folks—well, not many; I mean how many are there; black folks who are Trump supporters now—have said:  Oh, I started out as a Rand Paul supporter.  And he did have some black support, for whatever reason.”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah!  And he was against the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act.  I mean that was just, to me, mind-blowing.  He never backed away from that.  He just, you know, basically said—well, you know, he misspoke.”

MITCH JESERICH:  “But he was against the establishment.”

ADELE STAN:  “Yeah!”

MITCH JESERICH:  “Right.  He was against the politics as usual.”

ADELE STAN:  “That’s true.  Well, so he says.”

DAVEY D:  “That’s an attractive thing for a lot for people.”

ADELE STAN:  “Mm.”

DAVEY D:  “If you can get rid of the establishment, the kicking up of dust says to people that maybe there will be something better.”

ADELE STAN:  “Ah.”

DAVEY D:  “It’s gotta be better than this.  And people will go to whoever is doing that.  Trump is one of ’em.”

ADELE STAN:  “Mm.”  (c. 46:56)

[SNIP]

[SNIP] (c. 3:59:59)

Learn more at PACIFICA RADIO.

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

Willie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) Speaks at 2016 Republican National Convention, Monday, 18 JUL 2016

Actor Scott Baio Speaks at 2016 Republican National Convention, Monday, 18 JUL 2016

***

[1]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Hard Knock Radio, this episode hosted by Davey D, Monday, 18 JUL 2016, 16:00 PDT, one-hour broadcast.

[2]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Flashpoints, this episode hosted by Dennis Bernstein, Monday, 18 JUL 2016, 15:00 PDT, one-hour broadcast.

[3]   Cf. The old Americanism, Make America Great Again.

[4]  Regarding NAFTA and its socioeconomic effects, see, for example:

  • “Under Nafta, Mexico Suffered, and the United States Felt Its Pain” by Laura Carlsen, The New York Times, 24 NOV 2013.
  • “The high price of ‘free trade’: NAFTA’s failure has cost the United States 8obs across the nation” by Robert E. Scott, Economic Policy Institute, 17 NOV 2013.

[5]  Terrestrial radio transmission, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Pacifica Radio, this episode hosted by Dennis Bernstein, Monday, 18 JUL 2016, 15:00 PDT, four-hour broadcast.

[6]  Actor Scott Baio made an anti-socialist comment when he said that America is not about “getting free stuff”:  (c. 10:25) “But for you, first time voters, it’s important for you to know what it means to be an American.  It doesn’t mean getting free stuff. [audience laughs and cheers]  It means sacrificing, winning, losing, failing, succeeding, and sometimes doing the thing you don’t wanna do, including the hard work to get where you wanna be.  And that’s what it means to be an American.”

This is a classic attack made against socialist, or democratic socialist, policies.  The allegation is made that socialist-leaning people are lazy and entitled people expecting handouts, rather than people expecting a government for the people.  In actuality, its elites like Donald Trump, who get “free stuff” in terms of big business subsidies, tax breaks, and the like.  Scott Baio, unfortunately, misunderstands political economy.

[7]  The non-profit industrial complex is a term, which was popularised by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence in their critique of the extremely compromised nature of the non-profit sector.  INCITE! edited a collection of critical essays, entitled The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, about which Amazon has written the following:

“A $1.3 trillion industry, the US nonprofit sector is the world’s seventh largest economy.  From art museums and university hospitals to think tanks and church charities, over 1.5 million organizations of staggering diversity share the tax-exempt 501(c)(3) designation, if little else.  Many social justice organizations have joined this world, often blunting political goals to satisfy government and foundation mandates.  But even as funding shrinks and government surveillance rises, many activists often find it difficult to imagine movement-building outside the nonprofit model.

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded gathers original essays by radical activists from around the globe who are critically rethinking the long-term consequences of this investment.  Together with educators and nonprofit staff they finally name the “nonprofit industrial complex” and ask hard questions: How did politics shape the birth of the nonprofit model?  How does 501(c)(3) status allow the state to co-opt politi-cal movements?  Activists or -careerists? How do we fund the movement outside this complex?  Urgent and visionary, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded is an unbeholden exposé of the “nonprofit industrial complex” and its quietly devastating role in managing dissent.”

[8]  Cf. A Tale of Two Cities (1859) by Charles Dickens.

***

[22 JUL 2016]

[Last modified  19:54 PDT  28 JUL 2016]

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