Monday, December 05, 2005

Ruth's Morning Edition Report repost

[Repost from Saturday]

Ruth's Morning Edition Report
Ruth: Did you take part in Cyber Monday? Do you know what it is?

If you listened to FAIR's CounterSpin, you busted through the myths to find out that Cyber Monday was an inventented event. " . . . decided that internet businesses needed a marketing hook to help them get a Black Friday type boost. As's executive director told Business Week, 'It's not the biggest day but it was an opportunity to create some consumer excitement.' "

Each week CounterSpin punctures the myths and exposes the reality. You heard that with their two main stories. They interviewed Michelle Goldberg about her research for an article at Salon ("How the Secular Humanist Grinch Didn't Steal Christmas") and for her upcoming book on the same topic to refute the false claim that a conspiracy exists among George Soros, the ACLU and left-wing websites to "take the Christ out of Christmas." As Ms. Goldberg pointed out, this is an old rumor that in previous times was tied to Jews and now is used to slime secularists.

My favorite part each week is when, at the start of the program, they address recent media coverage. Janine Jackson, who was not on this week, never fails to make me laugh with her delivery. Mitchell e-mailed to ask if they were really that funny? Yes, Ms. Jackson, Peter Hart and Steve Rendell all do a great job puncturing the blow hards of the pundit set. Mitchell wrote that if I really think they are that funny, he will make a point to try out the program. Mitchell, I really do think they are that funny so I expect you to listen to this week's program or next week's.

Mr. Rendell addressed the Washington Post's David Broder and Cokie Roberts in the making Gloria Borger who has two regular outlets, U.S. News & World Report and the CBS network. Both believe that America is not interested whether we were lied to into war. Polls not withstanding, the two apparently have their fingers on the pulse of America or somewhere that causes them to man the battle stations and downplay a very serious concern. Although the people have not dropped this issue, as Mr. Rendell notes, "The pundits, however, have moved on."

CounterSpin is a half-hour weekly program. You can listen via WBAI, another radio station or at the FAIR website. This may not be a program for you. As a grandmother, I long ago learned that what I find tasty, someone else may not. But as I always told my children, my grandchildren and my husband, "Sample it. If you don't like it, you do not have to eat it." So do try to listen to the program and if it turns out that you enjoy it as much as I do, wonderful; however, if it is not your type of radio, you will know that and can look for something more to your tastes.

Of all the programs I listened to this week, the one that I felt delivered day after day was KPFA's The Morning Show. Let's take two issues that were cited as worth more attention in the poll in the latest gina & krista round-robin.

Wally addressed what was going on in Florida at The Daily Jot this week. As Andre Lewis noted, this is an issue that "doesn't seem to be getting attention." Her guest was Sushma Sheth, of the The Miami Workers Center, who raised issues that really have not been getting out in the mainstream media.As Wally pointed out November 2nd, the first heavy rains were when the effects of Hurricane Wilma were more noticeable as roofs collapsed. Ms. Sheth pointed out that the official response was "basically every family for themselves." She discussed how "buildings that had not been kept up to code . . . caved." The collapses and the fact that other buildings were not up to code has led to mass evictions in Liberty City and Miami Beach. Some people have been forcibly evicted in the early morning hours.

Ms. Sheth also pointed out that issues of relief supplies were confusing such as attempting to determine "who had at ice at what time where?" There was a lack of leadership in all areas from the government's response on all levels. While this inadequate response was ongoing you also had people losing wages due to businesses being closed and this especially hit hard persons living pay check to pay check. Also harshly effected were immigrants who not only suffered from poor housing and lost wages but also found, when attempting to get relief, that they had to produce documents before receiving relief from governmental institutions.

The Miami Workers Center is calling for:
1) A halt to economic evictions.
2) An halt to foreclosures on homes.
3) A halt to threat of losing utilities due to loss of payments.

The economic impact from Hurricane Wilma is very real and the threat of evictions, foreclosures, lack of service is a very real concern. Another concern is that some of the same mistakes may be made again if the planning for future responses relies upon the same voices.

Public transportation was not a concern to those planning responses to the aftermath. There was no attempt made to waive the requirement for bus passes nor was there apparently any thought that relief supplies need to be better distributed and better publicized for those who rely on public transportation since a good portion of the day can be spent traveling from one area to another.

The second issue that the community felt needed more attention from the national media is the one addressed in "Target: the 9th Circuit (The Republican war on the judiciary continues)." Friday, Ms. Lewis interviewed constitutional law scholar Eddie Lazarus on the topic of splitting the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Lazarus gave the background. There are thirteen federal court of appeals that cover the United States. The Ninth Circuit covers California, Arizone, Alaska, Oregon, Washinton, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. For over twenty years now the idea of splitting the Ninth Circuit conservatives have "been kicking around." What would the split do?

Mr. Lazarus: It would increase the number of judges overall, that's right. You'd see Bush being able to get at least the first round of appointments. . . . In the short term, yes, it would be a boom for those who want to put more conservatives on the judiciary.
Ms. Lewis: So I'm trying to get just a little sense, do you think this is something we shouldn't be so concerned about, Eddie, is it something that you think is just a political ploy by the right-wing, it won't be that big of a deal one way or another? What's your bottom line on this?
Mr. Lazarus: Well I think it would be unfortunate if the Ninth Circuit was split because it's one of the few circuits that's left that has a true slate of national cases. And it does provide, still, something of a counterpoint to some of the other circuits around the country which have grown so conservative. It's not as liberal as it once was but it still has a number of liberal judges on it and I think it's refreshing to see a different perspective, particularly one that I often agree with, but leaving that aside, I think it's a healthy thing for their to be a variety of points of view on the Federal Court of Appeals and if the Ninth Circuit is out of step, there's the Supreme Court sitting there to step in and it can always create uniformity by taking a case and reversing the Ninth Circuit which it does from time to time.

On the issue of whether or not the proposal to split the court would be successful, Mr. Lazaraus felt that it was "fifty-fifty."

Mr. Lazarus: It's certainly the greatest chance that it would ever happen. But on the Ninth Circuit, even the conservative judges by and large, strongly oppose splitting the court and so, at least in this situation, you would have a lot of behind the scenes lobbying by conservative judges saying really you shouldn't do this.

The Morning Show is one of my favorite programs. I enjoy the wide range of topics, the news headlines on the half-hour. If this were a book, I would say you could curl up with it. Andrea Lewis, usually the coh-host but the solo host this week due Philip Malderi being on vacation, is someone who always seems to ask the questions that you are thinking. She is very knowledgable but she never comes off as a show off. Instead she comes off as someone who is really interested in the topics being addressed whether it was the above the two, the pressures on women to marry (Monday), the film The Passenger, or you name it. I also enjoy the opening theme which always make my grandson Elijah stand up and start dancing. [Note: "Theme Music: The Morning Show theme is 'Maria Moita', written by Carlos Lyra, performed by Bossacucanova, off a CD entitled "Revisited Classics," on Six Degrees Records."]

One thing that Ms. Lewis and others on Pacifica Radio have been emphasizing is an upcoming special:

Pacifica Radio Archives All-Day Fundraising Special
18-hour natl. simulcast of programming from Pacifica's 50-plus-year history. Focuses: civil rights movement, live music, and the 1970 live reading on WBAI of Tolstoy's War and Peace. On December 6 the entire Pacifica network will pre-empt its regular schedule for an 18-hour simulcast of programming drawn from Pacifica's 50-plus-year history. This will be a fundraiser for the Pacifica Radio Archives that preserves the network's audio treasures. This year we're focusing on three major subject areas: the civil rights movement recordings, live music, and the 1970 live reading on WBAI of Tolstoy's War and Peace.That airs this Tuesday.

Lou has suggested that I sample KPFA's Sunday Salon. I will do so this Sunday, Lou.

Sunday Salon
In our first hour...Vietnam all over again, or worse? The Iraq War: Lies, Torture, Occupation -- how will we move forward? A discussion with Daniel Ellsberg, Judith Coburn, Aaron Glantz, and Tom Hayden. In the second hour...We'll take another look at the case of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, who's scheduled to be executed at San Quentin State Prison. Tom Hayden will be joined by California Assemblymember Mark Leno, who is a sponsor of the Assembly bill calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.
Listen to past shows, get contact and reference info for guests, see announcements of upcoming programs, and more at:

If you listened to Pacifica's live coverage of the John Roberts' confirmation hearings, you are familiar with the host of Sunday Salon Larry Bensky. If you're reading this in the repost on Monday, please note the link above where you can listen to archived broadcasts of Sunday Salon. The first hour addresses the issue members ranked number one in need of more attention from the mainstream media on Gina and Krista's most recent poll and the second hour ranks number five. So four of the five issues in need of further attention have been addressed in this Morning Edition Report. The mainstream media may take pass on all five but if you are listening to Pacifica Radio, you have heard these issues addressed.