Legal Interviews --


Dr. Francis Adams

Are We Still Racists?

Alienable Rights: The Exclusion of African Americans in a White Man's Land, 1619 to 2000

“Alienable Rights:  The Exclusion of African Americans in a White Man’s Land, 1619 to 2000” is a book in part written by Francis Adams, an independent scholar living in Los Angeles, California.  The book posits that the drive for equal rights for black people in the United States has never had the support of the majority of America.  Rather, racial progress has been made in brief historic bursts, lead by the committed militant minorities of abolitionists, radical republicans, and civil rights activists.  In this program, we visit with Dr. Francis D. Adams.  I asked him to explain the importance of the trial of James Somerset that took place in England in 1772.

Dr. Francis Adams recommends "Collapse," by Jared Diamond.

Originally Broadcast: January 29, 2005

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Dr. Elizabeth Allen

Changes in Segregation Since 1952

In May 1954, the United States Supreme Court, unanimously declared, ”segregation in public education is a denial of the equal protection of the law.”  This is a two-part discussion about the aftermath of that decision.  Our guest is Dr. Elizabeth Allen, a Professor of Nursing at the University of Michigan.  As a high school student, Dr. Allen was one of the first African-American students to integrate West Virginia high schools in 1957.

Dr. Elizabeth Allen recommends "The Price of Loyalty," by David Suskind with former US Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neil.

Originally Broadcast: May 4, 2004 & May 18, 2004

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Tom Allman

The Sheriff and Marijuana

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 Octobor," by Tom Clancy.

Originally Broadcast: June 19, 2007

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Dr. Richard Alston

The Economics of Party Politics

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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Steven Antler and Keith Faulder

A Lawsuit To Be District Attorney

After District Attorney Norm Vroman died in September 2006 after his name could not removed from the ballot, Keith Faulder, the interim DA appointed by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, sued Mendocino 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.

Originally Broadcast: November 29, 2006

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Anthony Arthur

Changing America: Upton Sinclair Style

Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair

Since I was young I have been intrigued by the work of Upton Sinclair.   I remember, as a boy hearing about Sinclair’s books and efforts to change the world.  A close friend of my family was the writer for Sinclair’s campaign newspaper when he ran for governor of California in 1934 and, although that was long before I was born, the stories rolled during his later visits.  Sinclair is perhaps best know for “The Jungle,” published in 1906 which openly revealed the inhumane conditions of the Chicago stockyards and how the meatpacking industry operated, resulting in the passage of the pure food and drug laws within months after publication of “The Jungle.” "Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair,” is a biography written by retired professor Anthony Arthur, released in June 2006, 100 years after the publication “The Jungle,” and tells the story of Upton Sinclair’s life and work.  Arthur weaves the strands of Sinclair’s contentious public career and his often-troubled private life, which Sinclair at times willingly revealed, into a compelling personal narrative. Anthony Arthur rates integrity as Sinclair’s greatest strength, and claims his eloquence in writing and speech along with his reputation for selflessness as the basis of a ground swell of support for Sinclair and his ideas.  When I spoke with Anthony Arthur at the end of August 2006 from his home near Los Angeles, California, Professor Arthur began by describing what attracted him to study and write about Upton Sinclair.                    

Anthony Arthur recommends “Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph,” by T.E. Lawrence.

Originally Broadcast: September 6, 2006

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Alan Axelrod

FDR as a Leader

Nothing to Fear, Lessons in Leadership from FDR

Alan Axelrod is a writer who has studied the cultural and business dimensions of America.  “Nothing to Fear, Lessons in Leadership from FDR,” by Axelrod, focuses on FDR’s unique leadership style and what an effective leader is able to do.  We spoke about FDR’s leadership skills in the first part of our discussion and then addressed the leadership style and effectiveness of President George W. Bush.

Alan Axelrod recommends "The Life of PT Barnum," by PT Barnum.

Originally Broadcast: June 3, 2003

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Dr. Michael Baden

How Did That Person Die?

Dead Reckoning, the New Science of Catching Killers

In the fascinating world of medical discovery, the interpretation of how and when a person died can often be explained by looking at the bugs that are found on the body.  Dr. Michael Baden, Chief Medical Examiner for the New York State Police, is the author of “Dead Reckoning, the New Science of Catching Killers,” and our guest in a two-part series on forensic pathology, the study and public discussion of how, when and where people died.

Dr. Michael Baden recommends "The Moonstone," by Wilkie Collins.

Originally Broadcast: January 22, 2002 & January 29, 2002

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Annie Barnes

Racism in America

Everyday Racism: A Book For All Americans

Racism has too long been a part of the American experience.  The Civil War and the Constitutional amendments that followed, the Supreme Court decisions ordering the desegregation of schools, and the Civil Rights movements did not end racism in America.  Annie S. Barnes, holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Virginia and is a retired Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Norfolk State University in Virginia.  She is the author of “Everyday Racism, A Book for All Americans,” a book based on the racist experiences suffered by 146 black college students.  Professor Barnes describes effects of racism on black people and what black people and white people can do to combat it.

Annie Barnes recommends "Driving While Black," by Kenneth Meeks.

Originally Broadcast: February 27, 2001

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Yael Berda

Israeli Human Rights Attorney

Yael Berda is a young Israeli lawyer, born in New York and raised in Jerusalem.  At the age of 14, she became involved in a struggle to free her parents from debtors’ prison and the experience changed her life.  She has since become a leader of a non-violent movement for reconciliation and understanding among the Israel and Palestinian populations.

Yael Berda recommends "Fields of Protest," by Roca Ray.

Originally Broadcast: November 30, 2004

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Lester R. Brown

The Earth and Economy in Crisis

Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble

Our earth is in big trouble.  The environment and our economy are in crisis.  Essentially, we have created a bubble economy in which we are over-consuming the earth’s natural resources.  In this program, we will visit with Lester R. Brown, the author of “Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble.”  Lester Brown is the president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit interdisciplinary research organization based in Washington DC.

Originally Broadcast: October 7, 2003

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President Jimmy Carter

Life After the Presidency

The Virtues of Aging

Considering the alternatives, growing older is really not all that bad.  The frame of mind that we develop and carry with us as we age controls much of how we feel and behave.  James Earl Carter Jr., more often known as Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the US, is the author of a book called, “The Virtues of Aging.”  President Carter’s book covers issues from Social Security and medical expenses to the importance of staying active and involved.  I spoke with President Jimmy Carter by phone, in the fall of 1998, and I asked him what prompted him to write the book.

President Jimmy Carter recommends "The Age Wave: How the Most Important Trend of Our Time Can Change Your Future," by Ken Dychtwald.

Originally Broadcast: December 4, 1998

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Dennis del Castillo

Mercedes Lu

Peruvian Environmental Issues, 1998

In this edition of Radio Curious, we visit Dennis del Castillo and Mercedes Lu, two environmental activists from Peru.  I met with them in Lima, Peru on February 5th, 1998. Dennis del Castillo, who holds a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in soil science and in this interview describes contemporary environmental problems in the Peruvian Amazon Basin.  In the second half of this program we visit with Mercedes Lu, a scientific technician, who described some of the problems resulting from copper mining that occurs along the coast of southern Peru.  We began our conversation when I asked Dennis del Castillo to describe the potential of the Peruvian Amazon Basin.

Dennis del Castillo recommends “The Losing Ground,” by Erik P. Eckholm.

Originally Broadcast: April 3, 1998

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Gordon Chang

How Will China Survive?

The Coming Collapse of China

Approximately 20% of the world’s population lives in the People’s Republic of China.  According to Chinese-American lawyer Gordon G. Chang, China appears from the outside to be politically stable and economically strong.  Chang, however, argues that China is in social, cultural, economic and political turmoil.  He claims that China’s pending entry into the World Trade Organization will trigger social and political collapse.  Gordon Chang has lived and worked in China for almost 20 years, most recently in Shanghai.  He is the author of a new book entitled “The Coming Collapse of China.”

Gordon Chang recommends "The Tipping Point," by Malcolm Gladwell.

Originally Broadcast: September 11, 2001

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Alston Chase

Who is Ted Kaczynski?

Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist

"Harvard and the Unabomber:  The Education of an American Terrorist” is a book by Alston Chase, former Chair of the Philosophy Department at Macalester University in Minnesota.  After studying the life and experiences of Theodore Kaczynski, who came to be known as the Unabomber, Chase characterizes him as product of the post World War II angst.  Our discussion on Kaczynski continued through two parts.

Alston Chase recommends "Pity of War," by Nile Furgeson.

Originally Broadcast: July 1, 2003 & July 8, 2003

Click here to begin listening to Part One.

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Da Chen

Life in China Under Mao

Colors of the Mountain

The Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, led by Mao Zedong, imposed a major change to the nation where one in every four people in the world live.  Da Chen was born in 1962 in southern China to a once wealthy family, by that time despised for its capitalist past.  At the age of 23, after graduating with top honors and serving as an assistant professor at the Beijing Language Institute, Da Chen came to America with $30 and a bamboo flute.   He won a full scholarship to Columbia University Law School, and later settled in the Hudson River Valley.  His book, “Colors of the Mountain,” tells the story of his childhood, his life and experiences.

Da Chen recommends "The God of Small Things," by Arundhati Roy.

Originally Broadcast: July 18, 2000

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Terrence Cheng

Two Chinese Brothers

Sons of Heaven

In June of 1989, in Tienamin Square, in the justify of Beijing, China, one of the largest student protests ever to occur in that country took place.  The “Sons of Heaven,” by Terrence Cheng, is a novel about three major players in this drama, Deng Xiao Ping, the leader of China at the time, and two brothers, one a soldier in the Red Army in Teinamin Square at the time, and the other the man who stood in front of the tanks.

Terrence Cheng recommends "Ghost Written," by David Mitchell.

Originally Broadcast: August 1, 2002

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Ted Conover

A Prison Guard's Story

New Jack: Guarding Sing-Sing

Have you ever wondered what it is like to work inside a prison?  Well, Ted Conover, a non-fiction writer did, so he went to the New York Department of Corrections to ask if he could shadow a recruit at the New York State Corrections Academy.  His request was quickly turned down.  So, he decided to apply for a job as a prison officer, was accepted and attended the New York State Corrections Academy.  As a result of his training, and working at Sing Sing prison in New York, he wrote “Newjack: Guarding at Sing Sing,” a book describing his experiences.  This two-part program with Ted Conover was recorded in late June and early July 2001.

Ted Conover recommends “Crime and Punishment,” by by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and “Seek: Reports from the Edges of America & Beyond,” by Dennis Johnson.

Originally Broadcast: June 26, 2001 and July 3, 2001

Click here to begin listening to part one.

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David Corn

Does President Bush Lie?

The Lies of George W. Bush, Mastering the Politics of Deception

According to David Corn, the author of “The Lies of George W. Bush, Mastering the Politics of Deception,” all American Presidents have lied, but George W. Bush has relentlessly abused the truth.  Corn, the Washington editor of The Nation, offers a scathing indictment of Bush, as he reveals and examines the deceptions at the heart of the Bush presidency.

David Corn recommends "Roscoe," by William Kennedy & "All the King's Men," by Robert Penn Warren.

Originally Broadcast: November 25, 2003

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Susan Crane

Blood on a Nuclear Submarine

Civil disobedience often precedes most social or political change.  The American political tradition has deep roots in civil disobedience.  The Boston Tea Party, the Underground Railroad of the Civil War period, the Suffrage Movement, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and the Vietnam War protests are well known examples.  Symbolic destruction of the tools of war is an act of civil disobedience currently carried out by religious and faith based war protesters.   Susan Crane, once a Peace Corps volunteer and a former Ukiah teacher, hammered on a nuclear submarine in Maine and then poured blood on it.  As a result, she was sentenced to two years in federal prison.  I met with her in the studios of Radio Curious at the end of February 1999, the day after she was released from prison.

Susan Crane recommends The Bible.

Originally Broadcast: March 9, 1999

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Catherine Crier

Are Lawyers Really That Bad?

The Case Against Lawyers

The control and influence lawyers have in American society has grown enormously in the past 75 years.  The influence was foreseen in the 1830s by Alexis de Tocqueville and described in his book, “Democracy in America.”  Catherine Crier discusses and critiques this influence in her book, “The Case Against Lawyers.”  Crier, herself a former lawyer, district attorney, and judge is now a commentator on Court TV,

Catherine Crier recommends "Pigs at the Trough," by Arianna Huffington & "The Rule of Lawyers," by Walter Olson.

Originally Broadcast: March 18, 2003

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Richard Dooling

Is it Safe to Say … ?

Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech and Sexual Harassment

Certain words, said at the wrong time or place, may get a person into a heap of trouble.  The laws surrounding freedom of speech do not permit us, for example, to shout out “fire” in a theater or advocate the immediate and violent overthrow of the government.  There are also limits on the time and place where a person can use swear words or language with sexual innuendos or suggestions.  Richard Dooling, an attorney and writer living in Nebraska, joined us in June of 1997 to talk about his book, entitled, “Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech and Sexual Harassment.”

Richard Dooling recommends "Emotional Brain," by Joseph La Due.

Originally Broadcast: June 4, 1997

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Jane Dymond

A Juror Speaks

The Eugene “Bear” Lincoln murder trial ended in the fall of 1997 in Ukiah, California, with an acquittal of the defendant, Mr. Lincoln, on charges of first degree and second-degree murder, and with the jury divided ten to two, on acquittal from manslaughter charges.  Apart from the divisive nature of this criminal trial, it also carried a particularly extraordinary aspect.  Seven of the twelve jurors chose to come forward and talk about their responses to what they heard and saw in the courtroom.  Jane Dymond was a member of the Lincoln trial jury.  She attended every session of the trial, and every aspect of the jury’s deliberation.  She is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Jane Dymond recommends "Independent People," by Haldor Locksmith.

Originally Broadcast: October 10, 1997

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Daniel Ellsberg

The Pentagon Papers

Few moments in American history have held the tension of the early 1970s.  The nation was fundamentally divided between the jaded counter-culture and Nixon’s ‘silent majority,’ a rupture particularly connected to the still-escalating Vietnam War.  The release to the public of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 focused national attention on US foreign policy and on our right as individual citizens to freedom of the press.

Daniel Ellsberg recommends "Our War," by David Harris.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 1997

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Charles Ferguson

Will This War Ever End?

The Endless War

“The Endless War,” a movie released in late July 2007, written, directed and produced by Charles Ferguson, depicts the blunders and ill-prepared manner in which the United States initiated and carried out the war against Iraq. This full-length feature film juxtaposes the statements and actions of the Washington leadership of the war, which at the outset failed to include President Bush, the Commander-in-Chief, with the leadership’s actions and grievous consequences that followed.  Charles Ferguson holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has extensive experience in foreign policy analysis and lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area. When I spoke with him on July 20, 2007 we began with his explanation how the war and the occupation of Iraq were shaped by an extremely small group of people IN Washington D.C., with limited foreign policy and post war occupation experience.

Charles Ferguson recommends "The Lives of Others," a movie about life in East German under the communist regiem.

Originally Broadcast: July 25, 2007

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Terry Francke

The People's Right to Know

Legal Notebook: How to Keep Open Meetings Open and Public Meetings Public

The right of the public to know how our government acts is basic to our American system of democracy.  Most states and the federal government have enacted laws requiring public meetings to be open, with minimal secrecy provisions.  There are also laws guaranteeing access to public records kept and maintained by the government.  The California First Amendment Coalition recently published a book called, “Legal Notebook: How to Keep Open Meetings Open and Public Meetings Public.”  Terry Francke is an attorney who is the general counsel for the California First Amendment Coalition and author of this book.

Terry Francke recommends "Who Killed Homer?  The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom," by Victor Davis Hanson & John Heath.

Originally Broadcast: October 16, 1998

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Benjamin Franklin

Ralph Archbold

Visit with Benjamin Franklin

This conversation with Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed by Ralph Archibald who shares a birthday with Benjamin Franklin, was recorded in the summer of 1994 in two parts.  The first was recorded on a walk to where Benjamin Franklin lived and worked, and the second was recorded at the City Tavern, both Philadelphia landmarks in Franklin’s life and now.  Benjamin Franklin is, perhaps, the most noteworthy and animated of the Founding Fathers.  His contributions to science, common sense, and, most importantly, this nation of ours set him apart from most other figures in American history.

Originally Broadcast: July 18, 1994 and July 25, 1994

Click here to begin listening to part one.

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Nestle J. Frobish

Fair Play For Frogs, Part 1

Frogs play an important role in ecology of the world and are their occasional demise is sometimes noted as an impending ecological disaster. In 1961, a newly elected member of the California State Assembly, Jerome R. Waldie, introduced a bill that read in full, “frogs may be taken using slingshot.”  Little did he know that this bill would plague him through out his political career in the California Legislature, in the United States Congress, and as a candidate for governor of California.  Our guest is Nestle J. Frobish, the Chair-Creature of the World Wide Fair Play for Frogs Committee, an organization founded in Berkeley, California soon after what became to be known as the “frog murder bill.”   “Fair Play for Frogs, The Waldie – Frobish Papers,” the collected correspondence between Nestle J. Frobish and former Congressman Jerome R. Waldie was published as political spoof in 1977. Around that time some misinformed people, including Congressman Waldie accused me of being Nestle J. Frobish, something I am not now, nor ever have been.   I spoke with Nestle J. Frobish by phone while he was lurking near a pond at Frog Central in northern Vermont on May 21, 2007, so this rather preposterous story could be told.  Jerome Waldie is also a guest and his interview may be found on this web-site.

Nestle J. Frobish recommends "State of Denial" by Bob Woodward.

Originally Broadcast: May 21, 2007

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Mike Frost

You Can't Hide

Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments

The fact that governments spy on each other is no secret. The fact that they also collect data about lives of millions of innocent citizens worldewide may be unknown to many people.  Mike Frost, the author of “Spy World: Inside the Canadian and American Intelligence Establishments,” worked as a spy for over 30 years.  Mike traveled worldwide, setting up devices to intercept what were thought to be secret international communications.  Mike Frost has since retired as a spy and has many thoughts and considerations about his former job.  Our discussion led to a two-part program, originally broadcast in April of 1999.

Mike Frost recommends the movie, October Sky.

Originally Broadcast: April 6, 1999 & April 13, 1999

Click here to begin listening to Part One.

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Jack Gantos

How Prison Affected One Man's Life

A Hole In My Life

Have you ever been incarcerated?  Locked in a prison cell for a number of years?  That is what happened to Jack Gantos for being a crew member on a boat that smuggled a ton of hashish from St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands, to New York City.  He survived prison and became a college writing teacher.  His book, “A Hole In My Life,” tells the story of what happened the summer of 1971, his court experience, what happened in prison, and how the ordeal changed his life.

Jack Gantos recommends "The Locked Room," by Paul Oster & "Notice," by Heather Love.

Originally Broadcast: December 28, 2004

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Deborah Koons Garcia

The Future of Food

The director of, The Future of Food

“The Future of Food,” a film written and produced by Deborah Koons Garcia, discusses our food’s conflicting relationship with both mass agri-business and local agriculture.  Our discussion was conducted in the context of the passage of Mendocino County’s Measure H, banning growth of GMOs in the county.

Deborah Koons Garcia recommends "Women's Diaries fo the Westward Journey," edited by Lillian Schlissel.

Originally Broadcast: April 25, 2004

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Leonard Garment

Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…,

Some people’s memories of President Richard Nixon are negative due to his role in escalating the Vietnam War, the student demonstrations at Kent State University, and Nixon’s ultimate downfall in Watergate.  But who was the man?  And how could another individual get close to him?  “Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…,” is a story written by a complex person very close to Richard Nixon.  Attorney Leonard Garment was born to immigrant Jewish parents in New York in 1924.  Playing music, especially saxophone jazz, he grew up in Brooklyn.  As a good student and, with what he describes, “an ambition to run things,” Garment finished law school in his early twenties and began working for a major Wall Street law firm.  Even though at times he characterized himself as a liberal Democrat, Garment became a close friend and law partner with Richard Nixon and later became the attorney for, and the counsel to, President Richard Nixon, during the time Nixon was embroiled in the throws of Watergate.  This interview was originally broadcast in May of 1997.

Leonard Garment recommends “American Pastoral,” by Philip Roth.

Originally Broadcast: May 16, 1997

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Kevin Z. Golden

Lawsuit to Ban Genetically Modified Alfalfa

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.

Kevin Z. Golden recommends "Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals," by Michael Pollan.

Originally Broadcast: May 7, 2007

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Paul Goldstein

The Artist's Right of Ownership

Errors and Omissions

Who owns the rights to a play, a song, or a work of art?  How important and fragile is the authorship?  These and other issues of intellectual property rights begin to be revealed in “Errors and Omissions,” a novel by Stanford Law Professor Paul Goldstein.  “Errors and Omissions” follows the story of Michael Seeley as he locates a World War Two era Polish refugee who is the author of a screenplay that has the potential to make a huge amount of money not only from the movie rights, but also from the sale of associated paraphernalia.  Goldstein, who began writing fiction at the age of twelve, hopes now, fifty years later that readers of his first full length novel will carry away the sense of the fragility of authorship, when an artist creates a work out of thin air.  I spoke with Paul Goldstein from his office at Stanford University and began when by asking him to define intellectual property.

Paul Goldstein recommends "Aspects of the Novel," by E.M. Forster.

Originally Broadcast: August 9, 2006

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Dr. David Ray Griffin

Was this a Cause of the 9/11 Attacks?

The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11

The forces behind the disasters of September 11, 2001 are said to be unclear and undefined, notwithstanding the Official Report of the 9/11 Commission.  David Ray Griffin, a Professor Emeritus from the Claremont School of Theology, and the author of “The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11,” casts doubt on the official version, as well as the role of the Bush Administration.  In a two-part interview, we discussed these issues.

Dr. David Ray Griffin recommends "Cover Up," by Paul Lance & "The Terror Timeline, Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11 and America's Response," by Paul Thompson.

Originally Broadcast: October 5, 2004 & October 12, 2004

Click here to begin listening to Part One.

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Richard Grossman

Corporate Responsibility

In this program, we discussed the influence that the 1,000 largest corporations in the world have on the American society and culture as well as worldwide society and culture.  Richard Grossman is the Director of the Program on Corporations, Law, and Democracy, based in Cambridge, MA.  When I spoke with Richard Grossman by phone from his home in Provincetown, MA, I began by asking what, in his opinion, these corporations are doing that they should not do.

Richard Grossman recommends books by Alexander Mikeljohn.

Originally Broadcast: March 27, 1996

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Jonathan Harr

Toxic Water, A Book

A Civil Action

Woburn, MA, is a small, blue-collar community just north and west of Boston.  In the 1970s, some children in Woburn, MA, became sick and died from childhood leukemia.  Some adults in that town developed rare forms of cancer.  All of these people live very close to each other.  Their illnesses were traced to two contaminated water wells that provided the water to their homes for drinking and bathing.  As a result, one of the most complicated personal injury lawsuits was tried in the US Federal District Court in Boston.  In this program of Radio Curious, I spoke with author Jonathan Harr, who wrote “A Civil Action,” the horrendous story of the people who became sick and the subsequent trial.

Jonathan Harr recommends any books by Charles Dickens.

Originally Broadcast: November 22, 1995

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Jonathan Harr

Toxic Water, A Movie

A Civil Action

Water, a necessary element to our survival is expected to be pure, safe and clean when it comes into our home.  When it is polluted, the results can be extreme.  The people in the town of Woburn, Massachusetts, just west of Boston, had an unusually high rate of cancer in the early 1970s.  The town’s water was contaminated with industrial pollutants. Several children and adults became very sick and some died.  Their families sued the polluters in the U.S. Federal Court.  Jonathan Harr, a non-fiction writer, followed the process and wrote a book telling the story of what happened.  He called it, "A Civil Action."  A movie, also called “A Civil Action,” was based on the book and released at the end of 1998. I spoke by phone with Jonathan Harr, from his home in Massachusetts, a month after the movie was released and asked him how he was able to capture what occurred and create “A Civil Action.”

Originally Broadcast: February 2, 1999

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Arianna Huffington

Corporate Greed

Pigs at the Trough, How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America

Arianna Huffington, a political columnist and commentator with a conservative background, is the author of “Pigs at the Trough, How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America.”  Her book discusses alliances between corporate executive officers, politicians, lobbyists and bankers in disregard for office and factory workers.

Arianna Huffington recommends "Wealth and Commonwealth, Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes," by Chuck Collins.

Originally Broadcast: February 18, 2003

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Thomas Jefferson & C. Jenkinson

The Author of the Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America, stands as one of the lead political theorists of American history.  His ward republican theory required an agrarian population, a government originating in the individual household, and a consistently questioning and rebellious public.  My guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Mr. Jefferson, personified by Clay Jenkinson.  We discussed what has gone wrong in the US since Mr. Jefferson was President and addressed some of his concepts of what are necessary for a democracy.

Thomas Jefferson recommends "The History of the Peloponnesian War," by Thuclydides. C. Jenkinson recommends "In the Absence of the Sacred," by Jerry Mander.

Originally Broadcast: May 21, 1994

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Prof. Alberto Kattan

Argentinan Environmental Issues in 1993

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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Randall Kennedy

Can You Say This Word?

Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

Few words in the English language have caused so much pain, hurt and emotion as the N-word.  Randall Kennedy, a professor of Law at Harvard University, has written a book to chronicle the history of this word and to diffuse and neutralize it.  His book is sub-titled, “The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”

Randall Kennedy recommends "The Negro in the American Revolution," by Benjamin Quarles.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 2002

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Randall Kennedy

Black and White

Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption

“Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption,” is a book written by Randall Kennedy, a Harvard University Law School Professor.  He takes an in-depth look at the issue of black and white relationships set against the ever-changing social mores and laws of this country.

Randall Kennedy recommends "The Biography of Walter White," by Robert Janken.

Originally Broadcast: April 15, 2003

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M. Wayne Knight

Rural American Artist in Cambodia

Wayne Knight, an artist based in Mendocino County, California with over 40 years of experience, traveled very little before he found himself in Phnom Phen, Cambodia in 1995 and 1996.  He spent just under a year there, looking, seeing, and painting scenes that previously were beyond his imagination.  Wayne Knight also worked with the Cambodian Defenders’ Project in developing computer access to their legal resources in Cambodia.  His experience verified his security and, in many ways, enhanced his continuing growth as an artist.  Other programs you may enjoy are with Daniel Ellsberg discussing the Pentagon Papers and Vietman, and with Linda Kremer, Esq., a Marin County, California, public defender who took a leave of absence to direct the Cambodian Defenders Project.  They both may be found on this website.

Wayne Knight recommends “Living My Life,” by Emma Goldman.

Originally Broadcast: April 2, 1997

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Linda Kremer

The Legal Defense of Jailed Cambodians

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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Sam La Budde

Getting Dolphins Out of Tuna Nets

My guest in this program is Sam La Budde, a catalyst, if not the catalyst, in getting dolphins out of tuna nets.  He has been an activist with the Earth Island Institute and a number of other organizations.  In this conversation, we discussed the history of the dolphins, endangered species in Taiwan, and a potential economic boycott of redwood lumber.  This program was originally broadcast in September of 1992, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Originally Broadcast: September 14, 1992

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Professor Kristen Leslie

Strident Evanglical Themes at the U.S. Air Force Academy  

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, an Air Force Academy commander 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  Information about Professor Leslie’s testimony before Congress may be found at

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

Originally Broadcast: August 30, 2005

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Abraham Lincoln & James Getty

The 16th President

In 1995, James A. Getty, who appears in public as Abraham Lincoln, visited Ukiah, California and joined us in the studios of Radio Curious.  In talking with President Lincoln about his life, the events of his time and about his presidency, the conversation focused upon the economics of the mid-19th century.  I asked Mr. Lincoln to give us his opinion about the effect that Eli Whitney’s cotton gin had on the spread of slavery.

Abraham Lincoln and James Getty recommend "Malice Toward None," by Steven Oats.

Originally Broadcast: March 7, 1996

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Paul M. Lisnik

Juries: Fair or Corruptible

The Hidden Jury, and Other Tactics Lawyers Use to Win

What happens when a guilty person is acquitted of crime?  Or worse, when an innocent person is convicted of a crime?  This injustice can sometimes be prevented with the help of jury consultants, people who assist lawyers in picking juries in all types of trials, not just criminal trials. Paul Lisnik, the author of “The Hidden Jury and Other Tactics Lawyers Use to Win” is an attorney, jury consultant and journalist, who advised and assisted in the O.J. Simpson other trials.  He debunks the myth that juries are fair and impartial; that if someone commits a crime, they get convicted; that only guilty people are ultimately put to death; and that only the wealthy or famous can afford a trial consultant.  In this interview recorded in March 2005 Paul Lisnik begin with his interpretation of the jury system.

Paul M. Lisnik recommends “Bush World, Enter At Your Own Risk” by Marueen Doud.

Originally Broadcast: June 28, 2005

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Martha McCabe

Culture and Racism

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.

Originally Broadcast: August 2, 2006

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Rev. MeLinda Morton

Evangelical Proselytization at the United States Air Force Academy

This program with MeLinda Morton, a Lutheran minister who resigned from active duty as a chaplain at the United States Air Force Academy effective July 31, 2005, continues our series on evangelical proselytization within the United States Air Force and at the United States Air Force Academy in Coloradio Springs, Colorado.  This interview was recorded on August 19, 2005, and begins with Rev. Morton describing her duties as a pastoral chaplain to the cadets at the Air Force Academy and the issues that led up to her resignation. If you are interested in this topic, please listen to interview with Mikey Weinstein, an Air Force Academy graduate and a former attorney in the Reagan White House.

Rev. MeLinda Morton recommends “No Future, Queer Theory and the Death Drive,” by Lee Edelman.

Originally Broadcast: August 23, 2005

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Dr. Steven Miles

A Blind Eye to Torture

Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity, and the War on Terror

The silence of doctors, nurses and medics during the physical abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan and the information provided by physicians and psychologists to determine how much and what kind of mistreatment could be delivered to prisoners during interrogation is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest is Dr. Steven Miles is the author of “Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War On Terror,” a book based in part on eyewitness accounts of actual victims of prison abuse and more than thirty-five thousand pages of documents, autopsy reports and medical records.  Dr. Miles is a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and its justify for Bioethics.  He is a recognized expert in medical ethics, human rights and international health care.  This interview with Dr. Steven Miles was recorded in mid-July 2006 from his office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We begin when I asked him about his motivation to write a book about the treatment people who are disarmed and imprisoned.

Steven Dr. Miles recommends “Bury The Chains: Profits and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves,” by Adam Hochchild.

Originally Broadcast: July 20, 2006

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Edmund Morris

Who was Ronald Reagan?  One Opinion

Dutch, A Memoir of Ronald Reagan

A President of the United States is frequently a biographer’s subject who usually acts with second-hand information and without explicit authority from the President, himself.  In 1985, Edmund Morris, who was born in Kenya and educated in South Africa, was authorized and appointed by Ronald Reagan to be the official biographer for the 40th President of the United States.  Morris, who characterizes Reagan as a man difficult to truly know, had unprecedented access to President Reagan both in and out of the White House.  He met regularly with Reagan and reviewed Reagan’s daily handwritten White House journal as well as Reagan’s earlier writings.  Morris’ 1999 book, entitled “Dutch, A Memoir of Ronald Reagan,” is narrated by a fictional character, quite uncommon in most biographical interpretations, and tells the story of President Reagan.

Edmund Morris recommends "Guard of Honor" by James Gould Cozzens.

Originally Broadcast: November 30, 1999

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 Mother Jones & Ronnie Gilbert

The Most Dangerous Woman in America

Mary Harris Jones, Mother Jones, was born in 1830.  She lived a quiet, non-public life until she was approximately 47 years old and then, for almost the next fifty years, she was a fiery union organizer, strike leader, and fighter for safe and humane working conditions, the eight hour day, and child labor laws.  Around the turn of the century, she was called the most dangerous woman in America.  Her legacy has lived on in the form of a magazine that bears the name, Mother Jones; and in the form of a one-woman play about her life, produced, acted and written by singer and songwriter Ronnie Gilbert.

 Mother Jones recommends any books by Leo Tolstoy. Ronnie Gilbert recommends "Hawaii," by James Mechiner.

Originally Broadcast: March 12, 1997

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John Muir & Lee Stetson

An Early American Conservationist

The Wild Muir

One of the greatest early conservationists of America was a Scottish immigrant named John Muir who, as a young boy, went first to Wisconsin and then later, as a young man in the 1860s, moved onward to California.  A friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, he successfully sought to preserve the spectacular Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada range; it was joy in his lifetime. Yet the loss of the equally spectacular Hetch Hetch Valley to a dam to provide water for San Francisco was his greatest sorrow.  John Muir founded the Sierra Club and he has been credited with founding the National Park System in the United States.  In this program I spoke with John Muir in the person of Lee Stetson.

John Muir recommends "Sixty Miles from Contentment," by M.H. Dunlop.

Originally Broadcast: October 20, 1995

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Pio Pico & Roberto Garza

Meet the Last Mexican Governor of California

In this program, we are going to go back into California history about 150 years, and visit with the last Mexican governor of California, Pio Pico.  Pio Pico was born at the San Gabriel Mission in 1801, of Spanish, Italian, Indian and African ancestry.  Both as a politician and as an entrepreneur, he espoused the views of many native-born Californarios over distant seats of government.  As the last Mexican governor of California, he presided over the secularization of the missions, and turned over their vast land holdings to private hands.  Although he fled California during the American takeover, Pio Pico returned to build the first major hotel in Los Angeles.  Later, he served on the Los Angeles City Council.  I met with Pio Pico in the person of Roberto Garza in February of 1998.

Pio Pico recommends "Pio Pico, A Historical Narrative," by Pio Pico. Roberto Graza recommends "Pio Pico Miscellany," by Martin Cole & "Decline of the Californios," by Leonard Pitt.

Originally Broadcast: February 27, 1998

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John Pinches

All Politics is Local Including Marijuana

The concept that all politics is local is shown in this interview with Mendocino County Supervisor John Pinches in our August 7, 2007 interview on growing, use and "legalization" of marijuana.


Originally Broadcast: August 7, 2007

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Chaim Potok

Escaping Communism

The Gates of November

Chaim Potok, the author of “The Chosen,” “The Gift of Asher Lev,” “Divida’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.

Chaim Potok recommends "The English Patient," by Michael Ondaatje.

Originally Broadcast: January 8, 1997

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Neil Proto

Law As A Tool For Social Change

To A High Court: The Tumult and Choices that Led to United States v. SCRAP

Law a tool for social change is the subject of this edition of Radio Curious, and it’s also reason why I decided to be an attorney.  Neil Proto, now a veteran Washington D.C. attorney, was a law student in the early 1970s in Washington D.C. and one of several law students in a group called SCRAP (Student’s Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures) which sued the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States and the nation’s railroads for what they believed was a violation of the NEPA, the National Environmental Protection Act.   The regulations, which they successfully challenged, discouraged the movement of materials that could be recycled and encouraged the movement of raw materials.  The Federal court issued an injunction, ordered an environmental impact report be prepared and in the end the regulations were overturned.  The story is told in Neil Proto’s book, “To A High Court: The Tumult and Choices that Led to United States v. SCRAP.”  For the past 35 years, Neil Proto has been practicing and teaching law in the Nation’s capital.   In this conversation, recorded in early February, 2006, we discuss the SCRPA lawsuit, importance of citizen involvement in the use of the law as a tool for social change and how court rulings in recent decades have made this involvement more difficult.

  Neil Proto recommends “The Prince of Our Disorder:  The Life of T.E. Lawrence,” by John E. Mack..

Originally Broadcast: February 14, 2006

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Charles Reich

A Non-Marxist View of Material Capitalism

The Greening of America & Opposing the System

The market economy often seems to have many inherent problems.  Indeed, a Marxist historical view presupposes that the fundamental contradictions of capitalism will inevitably lead to socialism.  Far from this extreme, Charles Reich, author of “The Greening of America” and, more recently, “Opposing the System,” believes that individuals must be nonetheless confronted with these contradictions and the human conditions created by material capitalism.

Charles Reich recommends "The Poetry of Colleridge," by Charles R. Woodring.

Originally Broadcast: November 4, 1996

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Robert Reich

Liberals v. Neo-Cons

Reason, Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America

Looking back at the history of our nation, certain political trends can show swings from one political view to another.  In an election year, we often take a political position in favor of how we each think our government ought to be run.  Robert B. Reich, a former Secretary of Labor under the first Clinton administration and now a professor at Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley, is the author of “Reason, Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America.”

Originally Broadcast: July 13, 2004

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Jeff Ruch

How to be a Whistleblower

The Art of Anonymous Activism:  Serving the Public While Surviving Public Service

“The Art of Anonymous Activism:  Serving the Public While Surviving Public Service” is a short book published by three public interest organizations based in Washington DC: POGO, the Project on Government Oversight (, GAP, the Government Accountability Project (, and PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (  Jeff Ruch is the executive director of PEER and the book’s co-editor.

Originally Broadcast: January 20, 2003

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Eric Schlosser

Do You Really Want to Eat That?

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Eric Schlosser, the author of “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,” writes that it is not only what is served for human consumption that plagues the country, but the art of mass marketing to children – through organized promotions and ads in school buses, hallways and even bathroom stalls – that has serious side effects in society.

Eric Schlosser recommends "New Jack," by Ted Conover.

Originally Broadcast: August 1, 2002

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Richard Shoemaker

Barry Vogel, Esq.

Citizen Effort to Combat Big Box Takeover of a Small, Rural Community.

Contrary to the five to zero decision of the Ukiah City Council recommending a No Vote, Mendocino County Supervisor Jim Wattenburger, whose district solely comprises the City of Ukiah, voted yes creating a board majority to further investigate the development of a major shopping center adjacent to Ukiah, a small, tranquil, rural community. In this conversation Richard Shoemaker, a former member of the Board of Supervisors from the Ukiah district, and attorney and veteran board watcher Barry Vogel (host and producer of Radio Curious) discuss the unusual anomalies of this event.

Richard Shoemaker recommends "Ripples From the Zambezi," Ernesto Sirolli.

Barry Vogel recommends "Big Box Swindle," Stacy Mitchell.

Originally Broadcast: August 22, 2007

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Socrates & Ron Gross

Socrates of Athens, in Conversation

Socrates' Way: Seven Masterkeys to Using Your Mind to the Utmost

Socrates of Athens, who lived before the Common Era, is respected as one of the greatest independent thinkers of all time.  Socrates himself refused to be recognized as a teacher.  Instead, Plato, his well-known student and reporter of Socrates’ dialogues, tells us he asked to be seen as a “midwife of ideas.”  Socrates’ passion to achieve self-understanding, and the proper ways to live, continues to be studied and emulated to this day.

Socrates recommends "The Trojan Women," by Euripides. Ron Gross recommends "The Clouds," by Aristophanes.

Originally Broadcast: January 13, 2003

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Scott Spears

An Experiment in Successful Community Mediation

Stockton, CA, has been called the most diverse community in the world.  Fourteen distinct and primary languages are spoken in the Stockton area elementary schools.  This enormous cultural diversity has, in the past, resulted in automatic rifle fire at a Stockton elementary school.  Scott Spears, a young man who grew up in Ukiah, currently works at the Stockton mediation justify as a trainer and program developer in the schools and as a mediator in the Stockton community.

Originally Broadcast: April 16, 1997

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Elizabeth Stanton & Frederick Douglass

Sally Wagner & Charles Pace

A Visit with Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Frederick Douglass

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass were good friends from the mid 19th century to the late 19th century, and were active leaders in the fight for the rights of women and blacks throughout their lives.  From time to time they got together to visit and talk about America, as they knew it. In this archive edition of Radio Curious recorded in May 1998, I met with Chautauqua scholars Sally Roach Wagner and Charles Pace who portrayed Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass and asked them each to tell us what it was like to be an American during their life time.

Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Stanton recommend “The Columbian Orator: Containing a variety of original and selected pieces together with rules, which are calculated to improve youth and others, in the ornamental and useful art of eloquence,” by Caleb Bingham and “The Woman’s Bible” edited by Eliz. Cady Stanton.

Originally Broadcast: July 3, 1996

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Tim Stoen

Litigation to Save Old Growth Redwoods

The California law prohibiting unfair business practices is the basis for the 2003 lawsuit brought against the Pacific Lumber Company by the People of the State of California.  This case was brought when the Humboldt County, California, District Attorney alleged that Pacific Lumber provided inaccurate information to the California Department of Forestry as the basis for a timber harvest plan which would preserve certain old growth redwood trees in “The Headwaters” forest.  Tim Stoen is the Assistant District Attorney in Humboldt County and the lead attorney representing the People of the State of California in this case.

Tim Stoen recommends "John Adams and the American Revolution" & "The Lion and the Throne," by Catherine Drinker Bowen.

Originally Broadcast: September 23, 2003

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John Sutter

David Fenimore

A Visit With John Sutter

John Sutter was an émigré from Switzerland who came to California to establish his New Helvicia in the land of opportunity, located in what is now close to Sacramento, California.  A man with vision and organization, and a liking to drink, Sutter built an economically thriving Anglo-American settlement outpost in what was then Mexican California.  The economy was based on livestock and lumber and used forced Native American labor.  The discovery of gold in 1849 at a mill owned by Sutter started the gold rush that ultimately led to his undoing, ruining him financially as the mass of humanity tramped through the lands he then claimed to own, on their rush to the gold fields.  John Sutter was portrayed by historian David Fennimore and was part of “Rediscovering California at 150” the California sesquicentennial initiative produced by the California Council for the Humanities.

John Sutter recommends “Ivanhoe,” by Sir Walter Scott and “Report Concerning North America,” by Godfried Duden.

Originally Broadcast: February 20, 1998

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Joshua Tickell

Biodiesel: An Oil-less Fuel

From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel

Biodiesel, an alternative to the dwindling supply of fossil fuels, is created from processed vegetable oil and is available anywhere vegetable oil is grown or used.  Joshua Tickell is the author of “From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel."  In this program, he shared his ideas on the topic.

Joshua Tickell recommends "Connections," by James Burke.

Originally Broadcast: July 22, 2003

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Mike Tidwell

Destruction of Louisiana

Bayou Farewell, The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast

It is now known that the destruction to southern Louisiana that occurred as a result of hurricane Katrina in August 2005 was anticipated by some and should have been anticipated by others. In this interview recorded in April 2003, and first broadcast in February 2006, our guest Mike Tidwell, is the author of "Bayou Farewell:  The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Coastal Louisiana."  Tidwell describes how that vase marshland of coastal Louisiana, home to millions of migratory birds and the source of one-third of America’s seafood, is literally washing out to sea.  The bayou region, 6000 square miles in size, remains the fastest disappearing landmass on earth. An acre of solid ground turns to water every 20 minutes.  An area the size of Manhattan Island washes away every ten months.

Mike Tidwell recommends "Oil Notes," by Rick Bass.

Originally Broadcast: February 28, 2006

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Sam Totten

Genocide in Darfur

Genocide is the intent to exterminate in whole or in part a specific group of people often based on nationality, ethnicity, race or religion.  For the past two years, in the Darfur region of the nation of Sudan, located in north central Africa and populated primarily by black Africans, the Sudanese government has been committing racial genocide.  Reports are that as many as 400,000 black African civilians have been murdered by the Sudanese government together with Arab rebel groups in Darfur.  Professor Sam Totten, a scholar in Genocide Studies at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, visited the Darfur area in the fall of 2004 and has been examining this present day massacre that most of the world has chosen to ignore. I spoke with Professor Totten from his home in Arkansas and asked him to explain the reasons behind the genocide.

Sam Totten recommends "Shake Hands With the Devil: the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda," by Romeo Dallaire.

Originally Broadcast: June 2, 2005

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David Von Drehle

The Fire That Changed America

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,” a detailed examination of how one event changed the course of the 20th century politics and labor relations.

David Von Drehle recommends "Plunkitt of Tammany Hall," by William Riordan.

Originally Broadcast: September 9, 2003

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Maggie Watson

Barry Vogel, Esq.

Make It Easier For Your Loved Ones When You Die

A Graceful Farewell: Putting Your Affairs in Order

Putting your affairs in order before you die is the topic of this edition 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.

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.

Originally Broadcast: December 6, 2006

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Jerome Waldie

Fair Play For Frogs, Part 2

As a lawyer and a student of political science, I have come to appreciate the anomalies and humor of politics.  One story that fits both of those categories well is the relationship between Nestle J. Frobish, the Chair-creature of World-Wide Fair Play for Frogs Committee and his former nemesis and the former Congressional Representative from the region just east of San Francisco, California, Jerome R. Waldie.  Their dissension arose in 1961 when Waldie was a freshman member of the California State Assembly and chose to introduce what came to be known as the “Frog Murder Bill,” resulting in Frobish organizing what turned out to be a 45 year campaign to get Waldie to renounce, what Frobish called his “vestigial impurities” visited upon him as the “mad butcher of the swamp.”  Waldie finally acceded in 2006 and in this interview recorded in mid June 2007 tells us why.

Jerome Waldie recommends "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis.

Originally Broadcast: June 11, 2007

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Michael Waldman

The President Speaks

My Fellow Americans, The Most Important Speeches of America’s Presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush

Michael Waldman, an expert on the Presidency, wrote or edited nearly 2000 speeches, including several of President Clinton’s State of the Union speeches.  He is also the editor of “My Fellow Americans, The Most Important Speeches of America’s Presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush.”

Michael Waldman recommends "Burr," by Gore Vidal.

Originally Broadcast: January 20, 2004

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Jim Wattenburger

Who Should Control Rural Growth, Corporations or Citizens?  

Should a shopping mall and a large residential development occur adjacent to the city of Ukiah, California? The city and many people fear this develoment will result in the loss of a unique, rural small town in northern California. Mendocino County Supervisor Jim Wattenburger discusses his position in support of these projects, and the legalization of marijuana in two programs recorded September 23, 2007.

Jim Wattenburger recommends "Undaunted Courage," by Stephen A. Ambrose.

Originally Broadcast: September 26, 2007 October 3, 2007

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Click here to begin listening to Part Two.  


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

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Mikey Weinstein

Update on Evangelism at the U.S. Air Force Academy

The concerns that evangelical Christianity continues to be proselytized at the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, have not lessened since our August 9, 2005 interview with Air Force Academy graduate Attorney Mikey Weinstein.  Mikey Weinstein, of Albuquerque, New Mexico is a former Assistant General Counsel in the Reagan White House and former General Counsel for H. Ross Perot.  In October 2005, Weinstein sued the United States Air Force in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, alleging violations of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution because of the evangelical proselytization at the Air Force Academy.  Details may be found in the first interview with Attorney Weinstein, and the subsequent interviews with Reverend MeLinda Morton and Professor Kristen Leslie at  In this interview, recorded on December 11, 2005, Attorney Weinstein discusses the current status of the litigation; the “Officers’ Christian Fellowship” located at many of the 702 United States Military bases in 132 different counties around the world; what he believes to be the religious efforts and goals of some evangelical Christians; and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a non-profit corporation he is organizing.

  Mikey Weinstein recommends “Constantine’s Sword, The Church and the Jews, A History,” by James Carroll,.

Originally Broadcast: December 13, 2005

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An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom

Zoya's Story, An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom

Zoya, a member of the RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan, tells the story of her childhood, her parents and her parents’ disappearance.  She describes the wrath that first the Russians, then the Taliban and then the Northern Alliance have brought to her country.   Along with the suffering, she describes the hope and spirit carried in the hearts of the Afghan people.

 Zoya recommends the collected speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..

Originally Broadcast: June 18, 2002

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