Recent blog posts
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- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.19 with editor Monica Roberts, Lerone and David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.12 with Linus Spiller, Patti and Lerone
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.05 with Patti, Lerone & David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.29 with Wesley Davidson, Lerone & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll report, JUne 1, 2016
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.22 with Jay Narey, Lerone, Patt & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.15 with Leslie McMurray and Katie Sprinkle, Lerone, Patt & David Ta Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.08 with Erin Moore, Patt & David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.01 with Candy Marcum, Patti, Lerone & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
A federal judge has allowed a landmark lawsuit to proceed against two psychologists who designed and implemented the CIA’s torture program. Psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen reaped more than $80 million for designing torture techniques used by the agency. The case was brought by Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ben Soud, two survivors of the program, along with the family of Gul Rahman, who froze to death at a CIA black site in Afghanistan. All three men were subjected to torture techniques that Mitchell and Jessen created and helped implement, including beatings, being held in coffin-sized boxes and being hung from metal rods. We speak with ACLU lawyer Dror Ladin, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of torture victims, and with former intelligence officer Col. Steven Kleinman, who knew psychologists Mitchell and Jessen from his time at the SERE school in Spokane. SERE—Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape—is a secretive program which teaches soldiers to endure captivity in enemy hands. Mitchell and Jessen reverse-engineered the tactics taught in SERE training for use on prisoners held in the CIA’s secret prisons.
As Democratic challengers Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton press on in the Democratic primary, Sanders trails in the pledged delegate count by more than 300. Add in superdelegates, and Clinton is just under 200 delegates shy of the number needed to clinch the nomination. Even as Sanders maintains his commitment to stay in the race, voters looking for political revolution are facing the question of whether or not to support his rival Hillary Clinton if she becomes the Democratic nominee for president. We host a debate between Kshama Sawant, Socialist city councilmember in Seattle and member of Socialist Alternative, who is a Sanders supporter and says she will not support Clinton; and Mike McGinn, former mayor of Seattle from 2010 to 2013, who hosts a podcast on social change called "You, Me, Us, Now." He is a Bernie Sanders supporter, but will back Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee.
- Syria: At Least 30 Killed in Airstrike on Refugee Camp
- House Speaker Paul Ryan Says He's Not Ready to Endorse Trump
- Romney, Bushes, McCain to Skip GOP Convention
- Trump Posts "I Love Hispanics" with Taco Bowl Photo; Twitter Responds
- Report: Clinton Team Seeks to Court Bush Donors
- Hundreds Protest Clinton's Policies, Honduras Coup Role in East Los Angeles
- Sanders Targets Opiate Epidemic During West Virginia Campaign Stop
- Reports: Prince Suffered from Addiction to Painkillers
- Canada: Alberta Wildfire Grows Tenfold in Size
- Palestinian Woman Killed by Israeli Tank Shell
- Brazil Court Suspends Lawmaker Who Led Impeachment Bid Against Rousseff
- Turkish Prime Minister Resigns as President Erdogan Cements Power
- Obama Commutes Sentences of 58 Federal Prisoners
- Chicago Prosecutor Withdraws from Laquan McDonald Shooting Case
- Alabama Lawmakers Pass Bill to Regulate Abortion Clinics Like Sex Offenders
- Italian Court: Homeless Man's Theft of Food Not a Crime
In a Democracy Now! special, we spend the hour with StoryCorps founder Dave Isay, discussing his new book, "Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work." Over the last 12 years, StoryCorps has gathered the largest single collection of human voices. In 2003, the first StoryCorps recording booth opened in New York City’s Grand Central Station. Since then, a quarter of a million of people have recorded interviews with their loved ones through StoryCorps. The new book is a remarkable collection of stories from the heart of the American workforce: teachers, social workers, public defenders, deli workers, plant supervisors and beyond. They include stories by dreamers, healers, philosophers and groundbreakers. "This is kind of a radical book," Isay says. "There’s no billionaires, there’s no millionaires, there’s no celebrities, there’s no professional athletes, but to me these are really the stories of work that matter."
We spend the hour with Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, the award-winning national oral history project. In a 1989 radio documentary, "Tossing Away the Keys," he chronicled the case of Moreese Bickham, a former death row prisoner who recently died at the age of 98. In 1958, Bickham, an African American, was sentenced to death for shooting and killing two police officers in Mandeville, Louisiana, even though Bickham said the officers were Klansmen who had come to kill him and shot him on the front porch of his own home. Many other people in the community also said the officers worked with the Ku Klux Klan, which was a common practice in small Southern towns. Moreese Bickham served 37 years at Angola State Penitentiary, in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.
He won seven stays of execution, but Louisiana’s governors repeatedly denied him clemency until, under enormous pressure, he was finally released in 1996. Days after he was released, he traveled to New York, where he was interviewed on WBAI’s "Wake-Up Call" by Amy Goodman, Bernard White and others. "Wake-Up Call" had closely followed Bickham’s case and helped give it national attention. We play an excerpt from the interview for Isay and discuss Bickham’s life and legacy.
- U.S., Russia Agree to Extend Fragile Syria Ceasefire to Aleppo
- Combat Death of Navy SEAL Raises Questions About U.S. Role in Iraq
- U.S. Army Officer Sues Obama, Saying ISIS War is Illegal
- Kasich Drops Out of GOP Race, Paving Trump's Path to Nomination
- Canada: Alberta Declares Emergency over Wildfire; 88,000 Evacuated
- Obama Sips Flint Water, Calls Crisis a "Man-Made Disaster"
- DOJ Warns NC over Anti-Transgender Law; AL City Rescinds Anti-Trans Ordinance
- Egypt: Activist Sanaa Seif Sentenced to 6 Months; Journalists Protest Raid on Union
- Mexico: Hundreds Commemorate 10th Anniversary of Police Raid on Atenco
- Israeli Army General Compares Israel to 1930s Germany, Walks Back Remarks
Over the years, Juan González has used his column in the New York Daily News to break major corruption scandals and cover-ups, including the attempt to conceal the health impacts of the toxic dust released on 9/11. Tom Robbins, one of Juan González’s colleagues at the Daily News and a recent Pulitzer Prize finalist for his coverage of violence in New York’s prisons, joins us to reflect on González’s remarkable career as an organizer who led newspaper workers on a successful strike and published "one scoop after another." Robbins is now investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. His piece "Juan González: Iron Man of the News Room" has just been published.
Last week Democracy Now! co-host Juan González penned his final column for the New York Daily News, where he’s worked for 29 years. We play González’s speech from last November, when he was inducted into the Deadline Club’s New York Journalism Hall of Fame, becoming the first Latino journalist to be selected for the honor. González reflected on his career. "I figured my modest contribution would be a voice from another part of New York," he said. "Not writing about outcast neighborhoods, but from them. Not simply to entertain, but to change. Not after the fact, but before it, when coverage could still make a difference."
As Donald Trump virtually clinches the Republican presidential nomination after Senator Ted Cruz suspends his campaign following a devastating defeat in the Indiana primary, we are joined by Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, who has reported on Trump’s history of close relationships with organized crime figures in the United States. We examine some of the characters and connections Robbins helped expose as a reporter who covered politics, labor and organized crime for the Daily News and The Village Voice from 1985 to 2011. His recent article for The Marshall Project is "Trump and the Mob." Robbins also critiques the media’s coverage of Trump on the campaign trail.
- Trump Virtually Clinches Nomination with Indiana Win; Cruz Drops Out
- Bernie Sanders Wins Indiana Primary in Surprise Upset
- Report: Less Than 1% of Clinton Fundraising Venture Goes to State Parties
- Syria: Dozens Killed in Aleppo Fighting; Rockets Hit Hospital
- Doctors Without Borders Blasts U.N. Security Council over Hospital Attacks
- U.S. Navy SEAL Killed in Northern Iraq
- Wildfire in Alberta, Canada, Forces Tens of Thousands to Evacuate
- Detroit Teachers Return to Work After 2-Day Mass "Sickout"
- Georgia GOP Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Guns on Campuses
- Honduras: Journalist Survives 2 Attacks on Eve of Press Freedom Day
- Labor Activists Target H&M over Safety of Bangladesh Factories
- Washington: 6 Workers Evaluated for Vapor Exposure at Hanford Nuclear Site
- Former NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Sentenced to 12 Years
- NYC Voters Pack Board of Elections Hearing to Protest Purge
- Sikh Man Says He Was Pulled Off Bus, Arrested for Speaking Punjabi
- California: Women Say They Were Asked to Leave Cafe for Being Muslim
- Obama to Visit Flint, Meet with 8-Year-Old Impacted by Water Crisis
- Afeni Shakur, Activist & Mother of Tupac Shakur, Dies at 69
Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald weigh in on comments from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her rival, Bernie Sanders, who have both supported the use of drones. Scahill notes that while Clinton is often portrayed as a more hawkish "cruise missile liberal," Sanders also supported regime change in the 1990s. "Bernie Sanders signed onto neocon legislation that made the Iraq invasion possible by codifying into U.S. law that Saddam Hussein’s regime must be overthrown," Scahill says, and "then supported the most brutal regime of economic sanctions in world history, that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis."
"This Isn't a War on Leaks, It's a War on Whistleblowers": Snowden Pens Foreword to New Scahill Book
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden wrote the foreword for the new book by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept, "The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program," which is based on leaked government documents provided by a whistleblower. Snowden writes, "These disclosures about the Obama administration’s killing program reveal that there’s a part of the American character that is deeply concerned with the unrestrained, unchecked exercise of power. And there is no greater or clearer manifestation of unchecked power than assuming for oneself the authority to execute an individual outside of a battlefield context and without the involvement of any sort of judicial process." We speak with Scahill, who says the Obama administration has targeted Snowden for being a whistleblower, while allowing others to leak information that benefits it.
"The Assassination Complex": Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Probe Secret US Drone Wars in New Book
As the Obama administration prepares to release for the first time the number of people it believes it has killed in drone strikes in countries that lie outside of conventional war zones, we look at a new book out today that paints a very different picture of the U.S. drone program. "The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program" is written by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept, and based on leaked government documents provided by a whistleblower. The documents undermine government claims that drone strikes have been precise. Part of the book looks at a program called Operation Haymaker in northeastern Afghanistan. During one five-month period, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The book is based on articles published by The Intercept last year. It also includes new contributions from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and The Intercept’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald. We speak with Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald.
"I may not be here if it wasn’t for Dan Berrigan," says journalist Jeremy Scahill as we remember the legendary antiwar priest, Father Daniel Berrigan, who spent his lifetime nonviolently protesting militarism, nuclear proliferation, racism and poverty. Berrigan died Saturday in the Bronx, just short of his 95th birthday. Scahill was a college student when he first met Berrigan, and went on to become close friends with him and his brother, Philip. The conversations they had inspired him to pursue fiercely independent journalism. "This man was just a moral giant," Scahill says, "the closest thing we have in our society to a prophet."
- Honduras: 4 Arrested in Murder of Environmentalist Berta Cáceres
- Indiana Voters Head to Polls in Key Primary
- Detroit Teachers Shut Down All But 3 Public Schools over Pay
- Iraq: Car Bomb Kills 18 Shiite Pilgrims in Baghdad
- White House Calls for Congress to Act as Puerto Rico Defaults on Debt Payment
- U.S. Cruise Ship Reaches Cuba for 1st Time in 50 Years
- U.S. Signs New Military Deal with Senegal as Part of Africa Expansion
- Somali Refugee Sets Herself on Fire on Nauru, 2nd Such Incident in a Week
- Israeli Military Orders Palestinian Journalist Detained Without Charge for 4 Months
- Colorado Supreme Court Rejects Local Bans on Fracking
- Greenpeace Calls for Halt to TTIP After Leaking Secret Trade Docs
- Abortion Provider Files Complaint over Hospital's "Gag Order"
- DOJ Says South Dakota Holds Thousands in Group Homes Unnecessarily
- Animal Rights Activist Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison for Vandalism, Freeing Mink
- Ringling Bros. Circus Elephants Perform Final Show
- Bob Fitch, Who Photographed Civil Rights, Farmworker Movements, Dies at 76
We speak with close friends of the legendary antiwar priest, activist and poet Father Daniel Berrigan, who has died at the age of 94. "I just always considered Dan to be in the league with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King and Dorothy Day and our greatest people," recalls Father John Dear, a Catholic priest and longtime peace activist. "He was the first priest arrested in U.S. history against war, maybe the world. … [I]t was so groundbreaking." Dear was one of Daniel Berrigan’s closest friends and worked with him for 35 years. He is Berrigan’s literary executor and the editor of five books of his writings. We are also joined by Bill Quigley, who was one of Daniel Berrigan’s attorneys. He is a professor and director of the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice, as well as the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University. Quigley recalls asking Father Berrigan, "Who are your heroes?" His response was, "I don’t believe in heroes, I believe in community."
As we remember the life and legacy of Father Daniel Berrigan, who died on Saturday at the age of 94, his niece Frida Berrigan reflects on the impact his activism had on her family and her own life. Frida is a longtime peace activist herself. She also writes a regular column for Waging Nonviolence. She recalls the intimate side of growing up among Father Dan, whose walls were always filled with art and who loved the late-night conversations among fellow organizers and family members. She says the community he cultivated “gave me a sense that anything is possible and that if we act in conscience, if we act together, if we are moved, we can accomplish extraordinary things.”
We revisit a 2006 Democracy Now! interview with legendary antiwar priest, activist and poet Father Daniel Berrigan, who has died at the age of 94. He joined us to mark his 85th birthday, and discussed his life as a lifelong resister to what he calls "American military imperialism." In 1965, he and his brother Phil Berrigan spoke to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. "I said to the secretary something about, 'Since you didn't stop the war this morning, I wonder if you’d do it this evening.’ So he looked kind of past my left ear and said, 'Well, I’ll just say this to Father Berrigan and everybody: Vietnam is like Mississippi. If they won't obey the law, you send the troops in.’ And he stopped," recalls Berrigan. "And the next morning, when I returned to New York City, I said to a secretary at a magazine we were publishing—I said, 'Would you please take this down in shorthand? Because in two weeks I won't believe that I heard what I heard?’ ... And he talks like a sheriff out of Selma, Alabama. Whose law? Won’t obey whose law? Well, that was the level at which the war was being fought."
The legendary antiwar priest, activist and poet Father Daniel Berrigan has died at the age of 94. Today we are remembering his life and legacy. Over the past 20 years, Dan appeared on Democracy Now! many times. In 2002, he joined us for a four-hour special marking the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks. He spoke about 9/11 and about the experience of traveling with historian Howard Zinn to North Vietnam in 1968, where they spent night after night in bomb shelters. "It was quite an educated moment to cower under the bombs of your own country," he said.