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Archive for February 2017

Feb 18, 2017: Authoritarians Hype Terror Threat; 3.5% of the Population Can Topple a Dictator; What’s Russia’s Game?

February 19, 2017 @ 12:35 pm

This week, we begin by looking at the specter of terrorism, both real and imagined. Hyping the threat of terrorism and crime is a trademark of authoritarian governments. It should be noted that we recorded the show before Donald Trump cited a non-existent terror attack in Sweden. 

 

Then we'll be joined by Luke Harding, author of A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia's War with the West. Harding spent four years as The Guardian's Moscow bureau chief, and he offers some insight into the larger strategy behind Russia's influence campaigns in the West. 

 

Finally, we'll speak with Erica Chenoweth, a professor of international studies at the University of Denver and co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. Chenoweth and her co-author, Maria Stephan, found that when even a small portion of the population is actively engaged, citizens can topple a dictator -- and that nonviolent resistance is the quickest, most effective way of fighting an authoritarian government.  

 

Playlist:
The White Stripes: "300 MPH Torrential Downpour Blues"
The Coasters: "Poison Ivy"
Southern Culture on the Skids: "Wheels"

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Feb 11, 2017: Trump’s Getting Rolled by Foreigners; Red Flags for Authoritarianism; Would a General Strike Work?

February 12, 2017 @ 12:32 pm

This week, we begin with a look at Donald Trump's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad first three weeks in office. It turns out that when you have no idea what you're doing, it's easy for the pros to walk all over you, and that's precisely what's happened to the Trump regime so far.

 

Then we'll be joined by Erik Loomis, a labor historian at the University of Rhode Island, to discuss recent calls for a general strike, and Trump's attempt to drive a wedge into the American labor movement. 

 

Next up is University of Georgia political scientist Cas Mudde, who explains why experts on authoritarian governments are sweating the Trump regime, and then lays out some signs of democratic deconsolidation to watch for in the years to come.

 

Finally, we'll speak to Ryan Devereaux from The Intercept, who reports that some of the most disturbing provisions of Trump's executive orders on immigration have largely flown under the radar as the media focused first on the wall, and then the hamfisted "Muslim ban." 

 

Playlist -- this week's musical theme is, "nevertheless, she persisted":
Queen Latifah: "U.N.I.T.Y."
Rocky Rivera: "Pussy Kills"
Nina Simone: "Ain't Got No, I Got Life"

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February 4, 2017: Trump Pays His Debt to the Religious Right; Muslim-Americans Running for Office

February 5, 2017 @ 12:36 pm

This week, we'll begin with a look at how Trump's hamfisted "Muslim ban" may be much more far-ranging -- and far worse -- than we thought.

 

Then we'll be joined by Nadeem Mazen, the first Muslim-American elected to a city council in Massachusetts. He and his colleagues launched a new project this week to recruit and support other members of his faith to sek public office. We'll talk about the unique challenges they face in today's political environment.

 

Finally, we'll speak with Investigative Fund reporter Sarah Posner about how Trump is repaying religious conservatives for their support with a slew of new moves to restrict access to abortion, undermine LGBT rights and blur the separation between church and state.

 

Playlist:
Statler Brothers: "Flowers On The Wall"
Joan Jett and Paul Westrberg: "Let's Do It"
Rolling Stones: "Play with Fire"

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