The War and Other Issues with Congressman Mike Thompson

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Mike Thompson represents the First Congressional District of California, including the North Coast and Mendocino County, the home of Radio Curious, in the United States House of Representatives. In this interview recorded in his Washington, D.C. office on October 11, 2007, we discuss the war, its funding, medicare, marijuana and children’s health insurance. The House of Representatives was not able to overturn the president’s veto of the children’s health insurance program in a vote that occurred after this interview. This program was originally broadcast October 24, 2007.

Mike Thompson recommends “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,” by Jeremy Scahill.

Carl Borden— “Potential Problems Of Employment Of Illegal Aliens”

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In this edition we discuss the “No Match” rule established by the Bush administration on August 10th, 2007. If a person is employed and the employer sends in the employment payment records with a social security number that doesn’t match the name on the social security number according to the Social Security Administration, A “No Match” letter will be sent to the employer that says “fix it.” To discuss this problem and the possible effects it has in California, we visited with Attorney Carl Borden, an associate counsel for the California Farm Bureau Federation, in his offices in Sacramento, California on August 20th, 2007.

The book recommended by Carl Borden is “Overcoming The Fear (of Death)” by David Cole Gordon.

Tom Allman- “The Sheriff and Marijuana”

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This program was originally broadcast on June 19, 2007.

Marijuana, some say, is on the lips of many people here in Mendocino County, California, and likely many other places throughout the world, to some with pleasure and to others with distaste. Nonetheless it doesn’t seem that marijuana will go away. Not withstanding federal laws prohibiting use and possession of marijuana, the people of the State of California adopted the Compassionate Use Act in 1996 and in November 2000, the voters of Mendocino County approved a resolution by a vote of 58% to 42% to decriminalize the personal use of marijuana. In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Tom Allman the Sheriff of Mendocino County to discuss the enforcement of the many conflicting marijuana laws. Estimates of the value of the crop produced in Mendocino County vary from five to ten billion dollars. We began when I asked the Sheriff to comment on this estimate.

Tom Allman recommends “The Hunt for Red October,” by Tom Clancy

Golden, Kevin Z. — “Lawsuit to Ban Genetically Modified Alfalfa”

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This program was originally broadcast May 7, 2007.

The consequences of growing genetically modified alfalfa were deteremined by the United States District Court in San Francisco, California to be so uncertain and so potentially dangerous that they were outlawed nation-wide in litigation brought by the Center for Food Safety based in San Francisco. In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Attorney Kevin Zelig Golden, who, along with others from the Center for Food Safety, litigated this landmark case which banned the planting of genetically modified alfalfa as of May 3, 2007.

The book that Kevin Z. Golden recommends is “Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals,” by Michael Pollan.

Stephen Most – “The Klamath River”

Originally Broadcast: March 21, 2007

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River of Renewal, Myth & History in the Klamath Basin

Since the last Ice Age ended about 12,000 years ago, human beings have traveled along the Klamath River and it tributaries in the northwest corner of California and the coast of southern Oregon. Many people finding an abundance of food, have stayed. The main source of their food was salmon. The power of the myth of the salmon may derive from the fact that wild salmon spread out across the Pacific Northwest about the same time that human beings did, at the end of the last Ice Age. In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Steve Most, author of “River of Renewal, Myth & History in the Klamath Basin,” a book that tells the story of the history of the Klamath River and the people who have continuously lived there for the past 12,000 years. Steve Most is a playwright and documentary storyteller. Among many other works, he wrote the texts of the audio voices and videos for the permanent exhibit of the Washington State History Museum. In this interview recorded in mid-March 2007, I spoke with Steve Most from his home in Berkeley, California. We began our conversation when I asked him to give a perspective of the geological and human aspects of the Klamath River and its place in history.

Stephen Most recommends the “Essays and Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

Maggie Watson & Barry Vogel, Esq. – “Make It Easier For Your Loved Ones When You Die”

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Originally Broadcast: December 6, 2006

A Graceful Farewell: Putting Your Affairs in Order

Putting your affairs in order before you die is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious. Our guest is Maggie Watson, a professional organizer who lives on the Mendocino Coast in Northern California. She is the author of, “A Graceful Farewell: Putting Your Affairs in Order,” a collection of ideas and forms that make it easy to list what you own and where everything is. In the course of our conversation Maggie Watson turned the microphones and began to ask me about estate planning, the documents which are useful for everyone to have and the differences between a will and a trust. In my day job I am an attorney in Ukiah, California and devote a portion of my practice to estate planning. Maggie Watson and I met in the studios of Radio Curious in early December, 2006.
www.agracefulfarewell.com

Maggie Watson recommends, “Millionth Circle: How to Change Ourselves and the World – The Essential Guide to Women’s Circles,” by Jean Shinoda Bolend.

Barry Vogel recommends, “Jacobson’s Organ and The Remarkable Nature of Smell,” by Lyall Watson.

Keith Faulder and Steven Antler –”A Lawsuit To Be District Attorney”

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Originally Broadcast: November 29, 2006

After District Attorney Norm Vroman died in September, 2006, and his name could not removed from the ballot, Keith Faulder, the interim DA appointed by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, sued the County seeking to void the November 8, 2006 general election for DA and to require that a special election be held. Former Deputy District Attorney Meredith Lintott received the most votes in the June primary election and was also on the November, 2006, ballot along with Vroman. The California Court of Appeals upheld Faulder’s claim which Lintott and the County appealed to the California Supreme Court. This edition of Radio Curious discusses the history and status of this unique case in interviews with Faulder and Steve Antler, Lintott’s attorney.

Keith Faulder recommends, “Theodore Rex,” by Edmund Morris.

Steven Antler recommends, “October 1964,” by David Halberstram.

Martha McCabe– “Culture and Racism”

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Originally Broadcast: August 2, 2006

Praise At Midnight

Life, culture and racism are the topics of this edition of Radio Curious, in conversation with attorney/novelist Martha McCabe, author of, “Praise at Midnight.” Martha McCabe worked as a civil rights and criminal trial lawyer in deep east Texas from 1974 to 1985. Her goal was to pour the raw material from her personal experiences as a lawyer into her story. The deeper level into which she fell during the ten year period it took her to complete, “Praise at Midnight,” was the importance of consciousness and self awareness in avoiding the projection of one’s own dark side on to other people and then killing them. She applies this to both local and international levels in her considerations. She and I have been associates, good friends and colleagues since 1969 when we met at the University of Santa Clara where I was a law student. When I spoke with Martha McCabe from her home in San Antonio, Texas on July 29, 2006, we began with her description of the culture of deep east Texas at the time she was living there, 1974 to 1985.

Martha McCabe recommends, “Reading Lolita in Teheran,” by Azar Nafisi and, “Caballero: A Historical Novel,” by Jovita Gonzalez and Eve Raleigh.

Mikey Weinstein – “Evangelical Christianity and the United States Air Force Academy”

There are concerns that evangelical Christianity is close to being officially sanctioned at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as within other areas of the United States’ military forces. In this edition of Radio Curious we visit some of these issues with Mikey Weinstein, a graduate of Air Force Academy, a businessman and former attorney in the Reagan White House. He describes how evangelical Christianity appears to have become the standard within the United States Air Force Academy that trains future leaders of the U.S. Air Force. At the beginning of an Air Force career each new cadet, among many other things, takes an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. These cadets are led by Brig. Gen. Johnny A Weida, the current USAF Academy Commandant of Cadets. On the official Air Force website, under character development, Brig. Gen. Weida is quoted as saying, “Our primary emphasis is to ensure every graduate has the character, honor, integrity, sense of service and excellence required of a second lieutenant in the world’s greatest Air and Space force.” On July 29, 2005, the name of Brig Gen Weida, the number two officer of the Air Force Academy, was deleted from a list of Air Force generals to be promoted, shortly before the Senate voted on those promotions. An April 28, 2005 report by American United for Separation of Church and State accused Brig Gen Weida of proselytizing to the cadets and specifically endorsing evangelical Christianity at the Academy. It is suggested that this may be a reason why he was not promoted. This interview with Mikey Weinstein, who worked as Assistant General Counsel in the Reagan White House Office of Administration, was recorded by telephone from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on August 3, 2005.

Mikey Weinstein recommends “The Sins of Scripture,” by John Shelby Spong.

Originally Broadcast: August 9, 2005

Professor Kristen Leslie – “Strident Evanglical Themes at the U.S. Air Force Academy”

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The series on evangelical Christianity at the United States Air Force Academy, continues with Kristen Leslie, a professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Yale University Divinity School. Professor Leslie was invited to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado to meet with the Academy chaplains and provide training in the counseling of female cadets who were victims of sexual assaults that had occurred at the Academy. In the course of her visits in 2004 and 2005, Professor Leslie and the group of graduate students from the Yale Divinity School who accompanied her, observed what she called “strident evangelical themes” at the Academy. Professor Leslie testified before the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Armed Services on June 28, 2005, at the Congressional hearing entitled “Religious Climate at the U.S. Air Force Academy,” and reported her observations of her visit that included: The hanging of a banner containing an overtly Christian message by the football coach in the team locker room; the Air Force Academy commandant leading a “challenge and response” cheer about Jesus in front of a group of cadets of mixed faith; distribution of flyers advertising religious events in the cadet dining hall and over the public address system; failure of the Air Force Academy to consider the religious practices of cadets of minority faiths when setting the cadet schedule; and public expressions of faith by senior staff and faculty members, in some cases in inappropriate venues such as classrooms. Interviews with MeLinda Morton, the Air Force Academy Chaplain who resigned the end of July 2005, and Attorney Mikey Wienstein, a 1977 graduate of the Air Force Academy, both of whom are outspoken critics of the inaction on the part of the Air Force Academy leadership may be found here on the Radio Curious website. The Harvard University Committee on the Study of Religion has a detailed report, with abundant links to other articles on this issue that may be found at www.pluralism.org. And information about Professor Leslie’s testimony before Congress may be found at www.yale.edu/divinity/press. This interview with Kristen Leslie speaking from her office at Yale University about these issues was recorded on August 26, 2005.

Professor Kristen Leslie recommends “Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader,” by Ann Fadiman.

Originally Broadcast: August 30, 2005