Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Miami's Political "Gangster?!" + Intro to Iran + When Free Speech Costs Your Freedom

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1.  Intro to Iran...sort of

So as everyone knows its election time here in the U.S. and what’s another U.S. election without a bunch of politicians threatening to go to war Iran? This week on LTAI we dive into this new round of saber rattling and chest thumping toward Iran and were joined by Abdy Javadzadeh, Iranian American professor at Florida International University, to talk about what this all means. Of course one of the questions that we always ask whenever attention turns to Iran was posed to Abdy: Does the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad actually have any power? If not then why are we paying attention to him? Hear what Abdy had to say.
2.  The "Irvine 11" and the limits to American free speech.

After the film, "Innocence of Muslims" sparked outrage and more in the Middle East, a bunch of people doubled down on the importance of protecting free speech in America.  Did the opposite of doubling down take place when ten members of the "Irvine 11," students who heckled, disrupted and protested an event at the University of California-Irvine campus featuring the Israeli ambassador where convicted of a crime?  Find out as we speak with Taher Herzullah, a student activist of American Muslims for Palestine and the attorney for the Irvine 11, Reem Salahi.

3.  Miami's Political "Gangster?!"

Anti-corruption group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington once describe him as "the most corrupt politician in Washington."  That was before Miami Republican Congressman David Rivera's name reemerged in the news for allegedly funding a Democratic candidate to run against his biggest opponent in the primaries.  That democratic candidate's campaign manager allegedly had a special name for Rivera, "the Gangster." We spoke with Miami based Democratic consultant Giancarlo Sopo about these recent allegations and about Rivera’s long history of corruption and federal investigations. We were also joined by the Democratic candidate for the 26th Congressional District, Joe Garcia, to talk about these recent events and about how the people of Miami can overcome our collective resignation to seemingly insurmountable political corruption.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The 47%, the Courageous Christians & the "failed" Arab Spring

1.  Who are the 47%?  

It turns out that Mitt Romney told his rich donors that he only really cares about 53% of the country at a fundraiser last year.  As the story goes, the other 47% (according to our aspiring President) pay no taxes, mooch of the government and don't care to take personal responsibility for their own actions.  But who are these 47% that Mitt Romney talked about?  We'll find out when we talk to friend of the show and economist, Marshall Auerback and Miami-based activist/small business owner and others.

2.  "The Innocent Muslims" and the "Courageous Christians" 

Last week, the world went a little upside down when a really poorly made "film," "the Innocence of Muslims," was unleashed online and met with angry protests around the world.  One of the men that took credit for consulting with that film was a man by the name of Steve Klein.  Upon hearing of his involvement with the film, Courageous Christians United, an organization that Klein sat on the board for, dismissed him from the organization and repudiated the film.  We wanted to get their take on the whole debacle and find a way forward from this mess.  With that in mind, we invite Courageous Christians United's President, Rob Sivulka, onto the show.

3.  Did the Arab Spring fail?  Does the Middle East deserve democracy?  Are those really stupid questions?

After protests and a violent seemingly pre planned attack engulfed the Middle East after the release (and not necessarily because of) the "Innocence of Muslims" film, more than a few commentators suggested that the Arab Spring was a failure and that the Middle East wasn't ready or capable of democracy.  We'll give those notions a BS test when we speak with writer Sara Yasin and writer/Professor Khalid Bey.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our 9/12 moment+Libya in our minds (again)+Our Teachers in Chicago

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So much trouble in the world...and we are here to talk about it.  We wanted to call this our 9/12 show because we wanted to look forward on the day after 9/11.  But...

1.  Our 9/12 moment

Even though the news of the US embassy attack in Libya sort of screwed up our ability to talk about 9/12 soberly, we still tried with some help from friend of the show and author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, Deepa Kumar

By the way, on a 9/12 sidenote, our host Subhash Kateel, participated in an interview on the work many, including him, did post-9/11 in South Asian, Arab, Muslim and other New York-based communities.  You can see that interview by clicking on the book to the left or here.

2.  Libya in our minds (again)

A year or so after the Arab spring engulfed the Middle East and a Western-backed coup toppled Libya's strongman, we turned to discussing the recent tragic killing of U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, as well as the mostly peaceful demonstration in Cairo.  Both where allegedly in response to the release of a video most believe to be a hit job (and a really bad one at that) on Islam and a smearing of its revered founding Prophet. We talked about the shady origins of the video, allegedly produced by a "Israeli Jewish businessman"  who seems more and more likely to be a Coptic Christian convicted businessman.  We were joined by Daniel Tutt, Director of Outreach at Unity Productions Foundation,  Ian Black, Middle East editor of the Guardian with additional thoughts from Deepa Kumar.  Here is some additional reading that brings up some points that we brought up on the show.

3. Our Teachers in Chicago

Finally, though our bodies may be in Miami our minds are in Chicago with the city’s teachers who went on strike three days ago.   We closed out the show by doing what we do talking to actual teachers who are actually striking.   Our guests included Maria Rivera, Brett the teacher and Ms. B who discussed the reasons for the strike and dispelled many of the criticisms being made of the teachers and the teacher’s union. The main charges being thrown at the striking teachers is that they are out looking for more money and are hurting children to which Maria responded “Anybody who believes that the teachers are hurting students should walk into a Chicago school and realize that the children are being hurt already.” This sentiment was echoed by Brett who insisted that this strike wasn’t over money but instead about adequate resources and materials for teachers to better take care of the needs of students. Ms. B also told us that her main concern was the lack of respect that Chicago teachers received and how they all work so hard but are still made out to look the bad guy. Hiram Rivera of the Philadelphia Student Union also joined us to tell us about the reactions of students and education advocates in Philadelphia and how it relates to the fight to save public education in the rest of the country.

The situations we spoke of on the show are unfolding and we hope to check back with more info.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Digesting the DNC + Our Show on Drugs I + More about Bain

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1.  Digesting the DNC:

Last week we covered the RNC, this week the DNC (Democratic National Convention).  On this show we talk about whether the crowning theme of this week will be the "audacity of hoping we will hope again" or "give him one more chance" or...well something else.  Guests will include Marlon Hill, Roberto Lovato and Dante Strobino from Occupy Wall St. South.

2.  Our show on drugs part I:

This week, Miami's former "Queen of Cocaine" and Matriarch of Miami's "Cocaine Cowboys," Griselda Blanco, was gunned down in Colombia.  At the same time of Blanco's murder, a Caravan for Peace is touring the US pushing for the and end to the War on Drugs.  The Caravan of Peace with Justice and Dignity was originally comprised of Mexican family members who lost loved ones to the violence of the drug war.  We figured it would be a good time to talk about the War on Drugs and why we are losing even as the original "Cocaine Cowboys" are slowing becoming a memory on Miami's landscape.  Guests included Miami New Times writer, Francisco Alvarado, Robert Lovato and Sean Dunagan of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (and a former DEA Intelligence Analyst). 

3.  More about Mitt Romney's Bain Capital:

Last week, we scratched the surface of why Bain Capital is considered so bad for America.  This week, Josh Kosman (author, The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Is Destroying Jobs and Killing the American Economy) and Cindy Hewitt, a former employee of the Bain Capital-owned now defunct Dade Behring plant in Miami gives us more reasons to believe that Bain Capital is bad and that its specific type of bad was broken in by Mitt Romney himself.  You do not want to miss this segment.  Tonight (Wendesday) at 9pm, tune in to the DNC, where Hewitt will be speaking. Plus, check out our bonus clips of what Josh Kosman wishes he would hear at the DNC and why this is all bigger than Bain or Mitt Romney.

1.  What the Dems should be discussing at the DNC

2.  Why this is all bigger than Bain or Mitt Romney