Saturday, October 22, 2005

Ruth's Morning Edition Report

Ruth: Pledge drives continue on Pacifica. (On NPR as well.) A large number of e-mails resulted from my week off; therefore, I'm doing a Morning Edition Report.

During pledge drives, it's difficult for me to figure out what will air and what will not. Which does not mean that there are not special programs worth listening to. I heard strong documentaries this week. On Wakeup Call on WBAI, Friday provided a hard hitting look at gentically modified foods. On KPFA, I heard a documentary about Michael Moore's campus appearance that had some up in arms. There was never a question of finding something worth listening to but it was difficult to follow the programming schedule.

An e-mail came in from Dallas suggesting I sample KPFA. Due to the fact that I could not get any of the streams for
KPFK to work, I did just that. Each morning, I would try to get KPFK to stream but with no luck. I hope that means that a huge number of people were listening which would make up for the fact that I missed two of my favorite programs, Sojourner Truth hosted by Margaret Prescod and Connect the Dots with Lila Garrett.

Dallas is very high on KPFA. In fact, he noted that he pledged and will be receiving a DVD set of the peace rallies in DC which sounds like a wonderful gift. (Tracey and I also made a pledge but I noted a member's endorsement and will avoid stating the one I made with my granddaughter because I know this is an issue for some members.)

On the Pacifica pledge drives, I will also note that Amy Goodman must never sleep. I could hear her at various times, on various stations and her dedication to public radio as a voice for the people is inspiring. Which some might read as an effort on the part of a sneaky old woman to suggest that you consider pledging to Pacifica, but I'll just see it as noting that Amy Goodman, a voice who speaks to the community, has been working very hard to encourage people to support Pacifica.

KPFA is my choice for evening news due to their outstanding KPFA Evening News. It's an hourly broadcast Monday through Friday nights, six p.m. in California and nine p.m. where I live, and a half hour broadcast on Saturday and Sunday nights. Brad and Kara both shared that they the KPFA's archives the easiest to utilize.

On Wednesday, I listened to a program that Carl has been urging me to sample. I did attempt to sample it last week but it wasn't aired due to the pledge drive. Guns & Butter is Carl's favorite of all the Pacifica programs he's listened to.

Guns & Butter devoted its hour primarily to a speech by Norman Finklestein. Mr. Finklestein addressed the issue of how some used the charge of "anti-Semitism" to shut down discussion and tar and feather opponents. Not surprisingly, Alan Dershowitz's name came up. Mr. Dershowitz has always struck me as a child who earned too much attention from his elders in synagogue and now he hungers for it the way one might hunger for kugel. That is my polite take on Mr. Dershowitz. My impolite take would be to say he's an oysvorf. Mr. Finklestein has a book coming out shortly and in it, among other things, he takes a look into Mr. Dershowitz's claims and research. In his speech, Mr. Finklestein spoke of Mr. Dershowitz's attempts to stop the book's publication. I will note that Mr. Dershowitz maintains that he was not attempting to stop publication or censor. So his call to the Gropinator was apparently an effort to save trees?

I enjoyed hearing Mr. Finklestein's speech and hope it leads to some serious conversations, both within the American Jewish community and outside of it as well.

[Dallas notes that if anyone attempts to listen and has trouble with the link, they should try this one because currently it appears that Bay Native Circle and Guns & Butter have been inverted.]

David Gans is the host of KPFA's Dead To The World, but I still haven't heard his voice that much. An e-mail from Roger alerted me to the fact that Wednesday's program would revolve around the Who whom Roger assumed, rightly, I was a fan of. Roger, two of my sons are as well, so we ended with a crowded living room Wednesday night. Along with wonderful performance by the band, we also were provided with various facts about it as well. Such as the fact that "rock opera" was a term their manager came up with and not Pete Townsend.

Roger, my family thanks you for the alert. They may have been less thankful the next morning since the program ends well after midnight where we live.

KPFA's The Morning Show is a nice blend of news, current events and discussions. Tuesday one of the guests was Wavy Gravy and if you just asked "Who?" then you didn't live through the sixties. Mr. Gravy is both a comedian and an activist. He was also a delightful guest to listen to.

However, my favorite guests on The Morning Show this week were Annie E. Bond, author of Home Enlightenment, and Lisa Harrow, author of What Can I Do?: An Alphabet For Living. This discussion revolved around what you can do in your own home to be more friendly to the environment and also what things, such as carpet, in your home might be unhealthy for you. I found this to be one of the most enjoyable programs of the week partly due to the discussion in the second hour, as well as the first hour which featured the documentary Homeland narrated by Winona LaDuke. I will add that the author Ms. Harrow is also an actress and, for anyone my age, married to Roger Payne. Pull out your vinyl copies of Judy Collins' Whales & Nightingales and listen to "Farewell To Tarwathie" to appreciate Mr. Payne's pioneering research on the songs of whales

I also enjoyed Monday's Out-FM on WBAI. The song "With God On Our Side" was utilized throughout, performed by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, and that was due to their topic and guest: Esther Kaplan who wrote With God On Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush's White House. The discussion revolved around topics such as the use of religious radio to smear John Kerry in the presidential election, spreading the rumor that he would "ban the Bible," the appointment of judges with former President Bill Clinton appointing moderates and the Bully Boy, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan attempting to appoint ultra-conservatives and the strategies that fundamentalists use to attack science and their fellow Americans.

In closing I'll address a topic coming up in e-mails at the end of the week. Mia was the first one to raise it; however, Tracey had already told me I'd better address it. When your granddaughter "tells" you something, you do take note.

Like many of those e-mailing, I heard quite enough of Scott Ritter this week. His comments about the DC protests were insulting. Was he there? He does not speak like he was and no one I spoke to remembered him being there as a speaker. After I shared his remarks (broadcast first on WBAI's Wakeup Call) with Elaine, she offered that he does not grasp the point of people coming together or planting seeds. More importantly, she stated, he does not grasp what went on at the protests.

I quite agree with that. Listen to his sneering claims that we sang "Kumbaya" were insulting. "Kumbaya" is a great song but a number of men, usually stocky men of a certain age, love to trot out that nonsense to prove how manly they are. They only come off more stocky and less manly. I briefly attempted to listen to Unfiltered when the program was still airing on Air America; however, Mike Papantonio's constant sneers at the peace movement were more than enough to turn me off the "Pap Smear." As Elaine pointed out, Mr. Papantonio will find that insulting because when it was offered as a nickname, he went into a panic, probably fearing it following him around. Considering his constant insults to those in the peace movement, I am happy to include it here. If you know Joe Scarborough's former law partner, I assume former, feel free to address him as "the Pap Smear."

Scott Ritter did the Pap Smear one better with coded language that was not as coded as Mr. Ritter apparently thought or hoped. Those who e-mailed all got the line he was attempting to draw with regards to his trip to Iraq. Yes, Mr. Ritter, you are no Jane Fonda. Jane Fonda did not run to the FBI before and after for cover. She excercised her rights as American citizen and did not attempt to seek permission for or take cover from her rights. Nor did she feel the need to speak of violence constantly. Rest assured, Mr. Ritter, no one will mistake you for a dove. Nor will you be mistaken for anything but what you are, a disgrunted Republican. If a serious discussion is to take place on the actions of Sandy Berger and Madeline Albright under former President Bill Clinton, it will probably take place without you due to the way you present yourself.

In addition, those who had supported you or been sympathetic to you during the false allegations that you attempted to meet up with an underage female, for questionable purposes, now grasp that you are not interested in their support by your statements that the group that really matters is the undecideds. That faulty thinking explains why Mr. Ritter can dismiss the hundreds of thousands who turned out to protest in DC and it also echoes the Democratic Party's own problems with listening to their base. If more time was spent, by either, working with the base, the base would be better able to get the message out to others. But instead of grass roots, some are more concerned with leadership roles.

Message received, Mr. Ritter, we will waste no more time supporting you so that you may spend more time pursuing the group that really matters to you. Good luck with that, as Tracey would say.