The first Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture is delivered by veteran journalist, Bill Moyers. Citing Zinn as his inspiration, Moyers focuses on the challenges facing our democracy. He decried what he says has been a 30-year trend toward plutocracy, where the rich get richer at the expense of the average citizen.
Howard Zinn, the political activist and author who taught for 24 years in the College of Arts & Sciences political science department, died in January. The Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture is made possible by a generous gift from Alex MacDonald, Esq. (CAS’72), and Maureen A. Strafford, MD (MED’76).
The mainstream media likes to claim that it has high journalistic standards, but when the opportunity for a sensational headline turns up, those principles are often abandoned. A recent example of this was the hysterical response to the supposed swine flu epidemic last year, and a new example — central to my work and that of many others chipping away at the enduring lies of the “War on Terror” – is currently sweeping the UK.
Led by the Times, whose headline today is, “George W. Bush: waterboarding saved London from attacks,” newspapers and broadcasters have uncritically parrotted the former US President’s claims, failing to mention that waterboarding is torture, and that torture is a crime, for which Bush can and should be prosecuted, and also failing to mention the lack of evidence for his claim that the use of waterboarding saved London from any planned terrorist attacks.
So the ping-pong U.S. political system again produces the illusion of “change”, as Republicans (Rethugs) take control of the House while the Democrats’ (Dims) majority in the Senate is narrowed, and President Obama says, again, that he will try to reach out to the opposition party to work with them.
More conservative (“Blue Dog”) Democrats were defeated last week than liberal ones, mostly because the Blue Dogs ran in conservative districts which preferred REAL Republicans to DINO’s (“Democrats In Name Only”).
Most USans are justifiably disgusted with the corrupt, anti-democratic U.S. political-economic system, not just the deluded, corporate-funded Tea Party extremists who hate “Big Government” (except the Pentagon) but suspiciously say nothing about Big Corporations. And we have excellent reasons for that disgust.
The Story of Electronics, releasing Tuesday, Nov. 9, employs the Story of Stuff style to explore the high-tech revolution’s collateral damage—25 million tons of e-waste and counting, poisoned workers and a public left holding the bill. Host Annie Leonard takes viewers from the mines and factories where our gadgets begin to the horrific backyard recycling shops in China where many end up. The film concludes with a call for a green ‘race to the top’ where designers compete to make long-lasting, toxic-free products that are fully and easily recyclable.
Our production partner on the electronics film is the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, which promotes green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry.
The November 2, 2010 electoral debacle of the Democratic Party in the US cannot be solely ascribed to the failed policies of President Obama, the Congressional leadership or their senior economic advisers. Nor is the demise of what passes for the American “center-left” confined to the US – it is a world-wide pattern, expressed in countries as diverse as Greece, Portugal, Spain, Great Britain and Japan.
The central question is why the left-center left governing parties are everywhere in crisis and will be for the foreseeable future?