Linda Kremer – The Legal Defense of Jailed Cambodians

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Attorney Linda Kremer, a Public Defender in Marin County, California, worked for thirteen months in Phnom Phen, Cambodia, in 1996 and 1997 as Director of the Cambodian Defenders’ Project. The Cambodian Defenders’ Project recruits and trains Khmer men and women to serve as Public Defenders in the criminal courts of Cambodia. Cambodian law requires that no person be detained in excess of 48 hours without being charged with a crime or be held without trial from longer than six months. In practice, these rights are rarely honored. Without legal defense, those is prison are powerless to request compliance. Other programs you may enjoy are with Daniel Ellsberg discussing the Pentagon Papers and Vietman, and with Wayne Knight, a Mendocino County artist who was also associated with the Cambodian Defenders Project. They both may be found on this website.

Linda Kremer recommends “Spontaneous Healing” & “Natural Healing,” both by Andrew While.

Originally Broadcast: March 26, 1997

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Chaim Potok – Escaping Communism

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Chaim Potok, the author of “The Chosen,” “The Gift of Asher Lev,”Davida’s Heart,” and many other novels, chronicled the life of a Russian Jewish family in the non-fictions story, “The Gates of November.” This true story of the Slapeck family, Solomon Slapek, his son Valodya, and daughter-in-law Masha, spans 100 years. Beginning with Solomon’s childhood at turn of the 20th century, his escape to America and return to Russia, it eventually describes Valodya and Masha’s life after they apply for an exit visa to leave Russia in 1968, in order to emigrate to Israel. Chaim Potok died July 23, 2002, at his suburban Philadelphia home of brain cancer at the age of 73.

The book Chaim Potok recommends is “The English Patient,” by Michael Ondaatje.

This program was Originally Broadcast: January 8, 1997

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Wesley Swearingen – Illegal FBI Break-Ins, Told By a Former Agent

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FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Expose

Agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have a history of illegal break-ins to homes and offices and conducting wiretaps without a search warrant. In the years when J. Edgar Hoover was the Director of the F.B.I., these warrantless break-ins came to be known as “black-bag jobs”. This archive edition of Radio Curious is a December 1995 interview with Wesley Swearingen a former F.B.I. agent, who in 1995 wrote “FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Expose.” His book describes some of the “black-bag” warrantless searches in which he was involved and his opinion of those activities. He ends his book by saying that the Hoover era will continue to haunt the F.B.I. because Hoover knowingly undermined the United States Constitution. When I spoke with Wesley Swearingen, I asked him what he meant by that.

Wesley Swearingen recommends “Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover,” by Anthony Summers.

Originally Broadcast: December 20, 1995

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Prof. Alberto Kattan – Argentinian Environmental Issues in 1993

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The late Professor Alberto Kattan, a Professor of Law at Buenos Aires University and one of the foremost litigators of environmental issues in Argentina, is my guest on this archive edition of Radio Curious. In our conversation originally broadcast in March 1993, we discussed the future of the penguins that he was and endeavoring to protect, dolphins, the use of 245T, and problems with the tobacco industry in Argentina.

Originally Broadcast: March 7, 1993

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Dr. Richard Alston – The Economics of Party Politics

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After the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention in 1992, Richard M. Alston, who was then chairman of the Economics Department at Webber State University in Ogden, Utah, sent a political survey to the delegates to that convention. This survey concerned the perceptions of convention delegates regarding economic issues in the United States. As a delegate to the Democratic National Convention I was sent one his surveys, and decided to ask Professor Alston for an interview. In our interview we discussed the survey and what information he hoped to ascertain with it as well as the role of economists in academic institutions in America. This program was originally broadcast in November of 1992, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Originally Broadcast: November 30, 1992

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Anthony Adams Esq. :  A Deeply Romantic Public Defender, etc.

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Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Anthony Adams, Esq., is currently, among other things, a Deputy Public Defender in Mendocino County, California. He’s also poet, formerly a California State Parole Commissioner, and served in the California State Assembly.

At a local Bar Association gathering, Adams recited his poetry and shared stories about his work as a Parole Commissioner. I decided to invite him to be a guest and asked him to tell us about his life.

Anthony Adams visited Radio Curious on August 23, 2018, and described himself and an “interesting fellow…  A deeply romantic person.”  In the course of our conversation his self description revealed itself.  We began when I asked him about poetry related to his work.

The books Anthony Adams recommends are “Nine Horses: Poems,” by Billy Collins, a former national Poet Laureate; “The Dove Keepers,” by Alice Hoffman; and “1492: A Novel of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish Inquisition, and a World at the Turning Point,” by Newton Frohlich.

This program was recorded on August 23, 2018.

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Phillips, Barbara — The Dialogue of Race

This is the second of two interviews with civil rights Attorney Barbara Phillips. She is a contributor to the book “Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers: Reflections From the Deep South: 1964-1980,” whose editor, Kent Spriggs, we interviewed in December 2017.

In part one, Phillips shared stories and experiences from her 40 year legal career as a community organizer and civil rights lawyer. In this, part two of our conversation, we discuss her essay “Framing the Contemporary Dialogue of Race,” that is featured in “Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers.” We discuss the changing rhetoric about race, the Second Reconstruction and a Supreme Court decision addressing race prior to the 1980s. These decisions defined a broad scope for just and equal rights for black people in the United States.

As a retired civil rights attorney and retired professor of law at the University of Mississippi, and formerly a Program Officer of the Ford Foundation in the Human Rights unit of the Peace and Social Justice Program, she continues her life’s work as a community organizer in Oxford, Mississippi, and continues promoting community justice programs around the world.

When Barbara Phillips and I visited by phone from her home in Oxford, Mississippi, on March 6, 2018, we began our conversation when I asked her about the essay “Framing the Contemporary Dialogue About Race.”

The books Barbara Phillips recommends are “Whats the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America,” by Thomas Frank, and “Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice, and the Possibilities of a Spiritualized Feminism,” by Leela Fernandes. 

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Phillips, Barbara — Protecting and Defending Civil Rights

We continue our series on “Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers,” a book in which our guest Attorney Barbara Phillips is a contributor, and Attorney Kent Spriggs, our guest in December 2017, is the editor. Now retired, Barbara Phillips first worked as a community organizer in rural Mississippi.  Later, as an attorney she protected and defended the civil rights of women and people of color while based primarily in Mississippi and then California. Eventually, she became a professor at the University of Mississippi Law School.

In this, part one of two interviews with Barbara Phillips, she shares her stories and experiences of her 40 year legal career.  In part two we discuss her essay in “Voices of Civil Rights Lawywers” titled “Framing the Contemporary Dialogue of Race.”

When she and I visited by phone from her home in Oxford, Mississippi, on March 5, 2018, we began our conversation when I asked her to describe her experience as an intersectional black, female lawyer.

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Kupers, Dr. Terry — Solitary Confinement and How to End It

In this edition we again visit with Dr. Terry Allen Kupers, a forensic psychiatrist and the author of “Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We Can Abolish It”.

In our first visit, Dr. Kupers describes the abysmal conditions in which an estimated 100,000 incarcerated people, both men and women are held in solitary confinement in the United States. Kept in dark, cold, and often wet cells, more or less eight feet by ten feet in size, they have little or no human contact, sometimes for years on end.  Many suffer from mental illness, prior to or as a result of living solitary confinement.  This results in significant long term damage to these people as individuals and to our society as a whole.

In this second of our two part series, Dr. Kupers shares stories of prisoners held in solitary confinement and what he believes is necessary to achieve meaningful rehabilitation for people who have committed crimes and sentenced to prison.

When Dr. Terry Kupers and I visit by phone from his home in Oakland, California, on February 14, 2018, we began this second visit when I asked him to describe what he calls a rehabilitative attitude.

The book Dr. Kupers recommends is: Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement,” edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway and Sarah Shourd.

This program was recorded on February 14, 2018.

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Kupers, Dr. Terry — Solitary Confinement: Locked Away with No Human Contact

 

An estimated 100,000 people are held in solitary confinement in the United States.  The conditions in which they live are abysmal.  They have little or no human contact.   Often they are kept in dark, cold, wet cells eight feet by 10 feet in size. Many suffer from mental illness prior to or as a result of solitary confinement.  This results in significant long term damage to the individuals and our society as a whole.

Dr. Terry Allen Kupers, a forensic psychiatrist, is the author of “Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We Can Abolish It”. In this first of a two part series on solitary confinement, Kupers shares interviews with prisoners who have been raped, subdued with immobilizing gas, beaten by prison guards and whose mental and physical health needs have been ignored.  He has found that prisoners of color are much more likely to be held in solitary confinement than are white prisoners.  Kupers argues that solitary confinement is tantamount to torture, and per se violates the constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishment. In part twoDr. Kupers shares stories of prisoners held in solitary confinement and what he believes is necessary to achieve meaningful rehabilitation for people who have committed crimes and been sentenced to prison.

When Dr. Terry Kupers and I visit by phone from his home in Oakland, California on February 11, 2018, we began the first of two conversations when I asked him to define forensic psychiatry, and the background of solitary confinement.

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