Aanestad, Christina — Occupying the Port of Oakland

In response to the attempts to end “Occupy” movements in different parts of the United States beginning the November 2011, local people in and near west coast sea ports on Monday, December 12, 2011 gathered to occupy their local port.

Radio Curious Assistant Producer, Christina Aanestad, went to the Port of Oakland where she met with and interviewed organizers, participants and bystanders. Her journey began at 5:30 am on a cold Monday morning at the West Oakland Bart Station. The first person with whom she spoke was a woman cloaked in a bright blue tarp with the words “The People’s TARP” inscribed thereon.

Before we hear the voice of this woman it is important to remember that TARP is an acronym for the U.S. government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program established to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions purportedly to strengthen its financial sector to address the subprime mortgage crisis. TARP originally authorized $700 Billion Dollars in 2008 to cover unorthodox real estate loans. 50 year old Karen Mackley wore what she called the people’s tarp.

The books Christina Aanestad recommends are “Pronoia is the Antidote of Paranoia: How the Whole Workd is Conspiring to Shower You With Blessings,” by Rob Brezsny, and “Angry Women” by Andrea Juno.

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Ball, Betty — History of the Mendocino Environmental Center

The history of the Mendocino Environmental Center, as told by its co-founder Betty Ball, is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious. Betty and her late husband Gary Ball, founded the Mendocino Environmental Center, based in Ukiah, California in early 1987, which soon became a central organizing hub for several environmental movements in Northern California.

The issues in those years included protection of the Northern California coast from off shore oil drilling, an effort which has remained successful; the Forests Forever initiate campaign in behalf of the Heritage Tree Preservation Act, which narrowly lost a state-wide California election in 2002; and Redwood Summer, a non violent civil disobedience effort to protect old growth redwood trees in northern California from being logged, modeled after the Mississippi Summer civil rights projects in 1964. Shortly before the planned beginning of Redwood Summer in June 2000, Judi Bari, a Redwood Summer organizer was severely injured in a car bomb explosion in Oakland, California. In a subsequent civil jury trial the F.B.I. and the Oakland Police Department were found liable for certain matters related to the bombing, and ordered to pay over $4,000,000.00 compensation. The bombers still remain at large.

These and other issues are discussed in this interview with Betty Ball, which was recorded for video and audio broadcast on November 7, 2011, at the studios of Mendocino Access Television in Ukiah, California. We began when I asked Betty Ball what drew her and her late husband, Gary Ball into the environmental movement.

The books that Betty Ball recommends are any written by Arundhati Roy, Derrick Jensen or Chris Hedges.

This interview with Betty Ball was recorded for radio and television broadcast with the generous cooperation of Mendocino Access Television in Ukiah, California, and the engineering assistance of Mikah Mate.

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Alibek, Dr. Ken – Soviet Germ Warfare Part 2

Biological warfare is the use of weapons that cause death by disease. The largest and most sophisticated biological weapons program in the world, which cultivated and stockpiled anthrax virus, brucellosis, the plague and genetically altered strains of small pox, employed more than 6000 people at over 100 facilities in the former Soviet Union. For 15 years, ending in 1992, Dr. Ken Alibek, a doctor of medicine and a Ph.D. in microbiology, was the scientific leader of Bio-Preparat, the civilian branch of that secret biological weapons program, masquerading as a pharmaceutical company. In 1992, Dr. Alibek defected to the United States. Several years later, he wrote “Bio-Hazard,” a book detailing the development of biological weapons, the horrors of his former life and why he chose to defect. This is a two-part program with Dr. Ken Alibek, recorded in 1999.

In part two, Dr. Ken Alibek discusses the morality of biological warfare.

Dr. Ken Alibek recommends “Prevent,” by Richard Preston & “Vector,” by Robin Cook.

Originally Broadcast: May 11, 1999 & May 18, 1999

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Caldicott, Dr. Helen — A Nuclear Catastrophe Never Seen Before

Dr. Helen Caldicott describes how the nuclear disasters that began in Japan on March 11, 2011, with the massive 9.0 point earthquake and resulting tsunami, present catastrophes the likes of which human kind has never seen before.  We discuss what happened, the medical and health consequences around the world, why public information has not been forthcoming, and what can be done to protect ourselves.  In response to the question, what can be done to prevent similar disasters in the future, Dr. Caldicott’s suggested action is somewhat reminiscent of the 1960s civil right’s movement in the United States.

Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1938, Dr. Caldicott received her medical degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1961, she was a co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and has devoted the last 35 years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and what she believes are necessary changes in human behavior.

Our conversation, recorded by phone from her home in southeast Australia on June 26, 2011, begins with her explanation of what occurred at the Fukushima Nuclear Power plants in Japan after the March, 2011 earthquake.

The books Helen Caldicott recommends are “On The Beach,” by Nevil Shute, and her book, “Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer.”

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Saving a Small Town Post Office — Ukiah, California

The United States Postal Service has plans to close post offices in cities, small towns and rural areas across America. This edition of Radio Curious is a case study of how the federal government plans to close the main Post Office in Ukiah, California.  The Postal Service says it operates under a “corporate model” and is not subject to public information requests, even from local government. It is unwilling to share the bases of it cost analyses or even let the City of Ukiah conduct its own evaluations. We visit with three members of the Save the Ukiah Post Office Committee, Ukiah Mayor, Mari Rodin, Alan Nicholson and Mike Sweeney. They discuss the community efforts to save Ukiah’s downtown post office and why.

The interview was recorded April 11th, 2011.

The book Alan Nichols recommends is “House,” by Tracy Kidder.

The book Mari Rodin recommends is “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” by Malcolm Gladwell.

The book Mike Sweeney recommends is, “The Storms of my Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity,” by Dr. James C. Hansen.

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Moglen, Eben — The Best Spying Ever: Internet Security and the Freedom Box

The best spy system ever created and what the internet does and how it’s controlled by national forces is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  We visit with Columbia Law Professor Eben Moglen, a developer of the Freedom Box, which prevents government, businesses and other intruders from obtaining your personal information and internet uses. His blog is:  http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/blog.

For more information on the Freedom Box Foundation go here: http://freedomboxfoundation.org/.

The book that Eben Moglen recommends is, “Free Software, Free Society,” by Richard Stallman.

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Von Drehle, David — “Triangle, the Fire that Changed America”

Until September 11, 2001, The Triangle Shirtwaste Fire on March 25, 1911 was the deadliest workplace disaster in the history of New York City.  David Von Drehle, a political writer for the Washington Post, is the author of “Triangle, the Fire That Changed America.” It’s a detailed examination of how one event changed the course of the 20th century politics and labor relations.

At the end of his book Von Drehle concludes that the workers who fought the management in 1909 and died in the fire of 1911, where they were locked in the building during the fire, did not die in vain.

This conversation with David Von Drehle, was recorded in September, 2003 from his office in New York.

The book David Von Drehle recommends is, “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall,” by William Riordan.

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Vogel, Barry — Consequences of Measure A in Mendocino County

In the 35 years that I have been practicing law in Mendocino County, California, I have been involved in several election issues and closely followed many different political events.  In my opinion, Measure A, which is on our county wide ballot this fall is the most significant issue that that has been put to the voters in my years here.   In this edition of Radio Curious, we visit with my long time friend Ron Arkin and discuss what I see could be the consequences to Mendocino County if Measure A receives the majority of the votes in the current election.

The book that I recommend is “Jacobson’s Organ and the Remarkable Nature of Smell,” by Lyall Watson.

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Collier, Robin — In Defense of Mendocino County Tomorrow and Measure A

The executive director of Mendocino County Tomorrow, Robin Collier, known locally for her skills in making excellent cheese cake, is the guest on this edition of Radio Curious. We visited on October 5, 2009 and discussed the organization and background of Mendocino County Tomorrow, as well as the corporation which funds it Developers Diversified Realty, its campaign in favor of Measure A and who would pay for the consequences of anything that’s built on the old Masonite property. I began by asking her to explain her role as Executive Director of Mendocino County Tomorrow.

The book recommended by Robin Collier is “Water For Elephants,” by Sara Gruen.

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Michael Shuman — Keeping the Culture of Small Towns

Years ago, before the myriad of things to buy were as available as they are now, retail businesses were most often locally-owned and operated, often for generations. This all began to change in the middle of the last century, as many of the items in the Sears Catalogue became available in towns and cities across the nation for consumers to feel and touch. But, it wasn’t until approximately 25 years ago when Wal-Mart, Target and other big-box stores appeared nationwide in small communities, to the detriment of locally-owned businesses and the social and economic benefits those businesses provided to their communities.  Michael Shuman, an attorney and an economist, is the author of, “The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition.” This book addresses the issues and problems of locally owned businesses and how they can successfully compete with the big-box stores owned by corporations foreign to the region. We began our conversation, which occurred on January 21, 2008, when I asked Michael Shuman to describe how a corporation comes into being, as a basis to understand some of the problems of locally owned businesses in competition with the big box stores.

The book he recommends is, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” by John Gottman.

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