Rural Spaces

13 November 2017 – We accidentally ended up with a theme this week – rural spaces. During our interview block we were fortunate enough to have Lane Siekman (@LaneSiekman), Congressional candidate in IN-6, and Dearborn County, Indiana Democratic Party Chairman, Tricia Gaustad (@GaustadTricia). Lane gave us an articulate and well thought out rundown of his priorities including progressive favorite, Medicare for All. Tricia talked about why the 2018 cycle is not at all the same as the 2016 cycle even in her deep red county. She is listening to local Dems and has built a strategy to truly fight the good fight.

Will started the show talking about the ways in which some conservatives are trying to twist the current conversation about powerful people sexually abusing others into a diatribe which reinforces feelings about LGBTQ people. They do this, of course, at the expense of women but that is their normal operating procedure so we should not be surprised. In his block Will gets serious about rural spaces and why the Democratic party simply must find a way both to honor our base and to reach back into rural areas for those who have priorities which are not all about racism. He reminds us that rural areas vary in demographics from state to state and that those variations represent opportunities.

I begin the show with a couple of brief observations about the elections this past week. In my block I explain carried interest, why it is part of the GOP tax plan debate and the fact that the issue with carried interest is not about how much the wealthiest Americans pay in taxes, it is about increasing inequity and inequality. …Oh, and eliminating the carried interest loophole represents yet another promise which Trump has broken. I spend most of my block talking about new research, summarized in an article in the Harvard Business Review, which evidences a strong correlation between opposition to federal spending and racial resentment. We keep thinking that it is possible to wrap our minds around all the ways in which racism is systemic in our society and, as this research shows, we are nowhere close to understanding.

On that cheerful note…the interview I was expecting to have this week really is happening next week. It will be very different from our normal fare but I think it is going to be wonderful. Stay tuned! Carrots! – Arliss

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Social Security Works!, Charlotte & Banks

26 September 2016 – We are finally back up to full power this week and have a truly terrific interview with Alex Lawson of Social Security Works! Because our listeners already have heard me talk about the mechanics of how Social Security works, Alex was free to wade out into the weeds where the world gets really interesting. He went into a great deal of detail about the dirty underbelly that the lying liars are trying so hard to keep us from seeing when they promote the privatization of Social Security. He also recommended that we take a side trip to the link for Social Security Spotlight where the (excellent) website lays out the economic impact of Social Security state by state.

At the top of the show Will talked about the importance and joy of celebrating Bi Visibility Day. I was especially caught by his pointing out why it is that the largest group within the LGBTQ community is also the most ignored.  For my opening section I was less cheerful in giving an update on the latest news from the protectors gathered on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation along the Cannonball River. Like Keystone XL before it, the Dakota Access Pipeline is an enormous environmental threat and its construction has already caused the bulldozing of burial grounds, sacred sites and the locations of historic villages. Pressure from around the world has caused the Obama administration to reconsider but the project is by no means stopped. We must join in demanding an end to this and all similar pipeline projects.

Will then really spent time time getting into the role that journalism is playing in the protests in Charlotte. That journalists have stopped operating as journalists and now are only feeding the clicks necessary to support advertising has destroyed one of the cornerstones of our democracy. When the people lose their voice, they lose hope and then where do they turn?

I spend just a few minutes talking about how banks create money and why new money is pulled out of central banks by private sector banks instead of being pushed out as is the common view.

One last note, if you haven’t checked us, ImHoppingMad, out on Instagram yet, the six Team Arliss bunnies are now there providing their own brief comments on politics, economics and, of course, carrots. Carrots! – Arliss


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QT POC STL & Metro Trans Umbrella Group Bring the Power

16 July 2016 – We are here in St. Louis at Netroots Nation and, as usual, it’s remarkable. On Friday we sat down for a truly wonderful interview with Lady Ashley Gregory, of QT POC STL, and Capella Marissa Huniwalt of the Metro Trans Umbrella Group. Together these two organizations work symbiotically to empower the queer and trans community of St. Louis. The Metro Trans Umbrella Group delivers against their CAVE (Community, Advocacy, Visibility, Education) Priorities in genuinely impressive ways including providing nationally certified trainings to hospitals, universities and community organizations on providing trans related services and on interacting with trans individuals. They have recently also built and opened the first Trans Memorial Garden in the nation. I especially love the quote they have on a sign there, “They thought they could bury us. They did not know we were seeds.

Speaking of seeds, QT POC STL grew out of the swirl of emotions following the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. The QT POC community needed a place to talk and to organize. From that beginning an organization has grown. As Lady Ashley says during the interview (paraphrased here), “When they go to write history books in the future, Ferguson will figure prominently.” There is no question of this and QT POC STL is just one of the examples of how the nation has been forever changed by the activism which was trigged initially by the murders of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

This episode of Hopping Mad is exclusively dedicated to the articulate, informative, exceptional interview and we thank our guests. – Carrots! Arliss

 

 
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Counter-Messaging ISIS, Immigration & Transphobia

23 May 2016 – Middle East expert Landon Shroder (@LandonShroder) has returned to talk to us about the work being done to counter-message ISIS. His new company and foundation, Applied Mathematics, combines the skills of experienced foreign policy experts with the messaging genius of marketing professionals to create authentic, high quality content which will provide a counter-weight against on-line, violent, extremist media.

Will starts off the show with a story about flags. Because they had nothing better to do with their lives, Spanish soccer authorities tried to ban the Catalan flag, the Estelada, from being waved by fans during a championship match.  Will then goes on to talk about the tremendously dangerous environment which now exists for ALL women as a result of the new anti-trans, bathroom laws in North Carolina. Women across the nation have already come under active threat and it’s only going to get worse. Bathroom vigilantes are coming to a bathroom near you.

Transwomen look like women, because they are women. Take these women for example:

Do they look like they belong in the Men’s restroom?

What about her? But it’s not just women that this affects.

Does he look like he ought to be in the Women’s restroom? What about this couple? Which one should use which restroom?

North Carolina thinks they ought to use the same restroom. And honestly, I have no idea which restroom that would be, because the couple here haven’t informed anyone which one of them was assigned the wrong gender at birth.

I begin with the extravaganza that is Eurovision and the politics of the win this year by Jamala of Ukraine. You must, must, must take a moment to take a look at both the Ukrainian and Russian competitors. A…maz…carrots! My main take this week is on the economics of immigration and the enormous upside potential which exists for the US if we can force our way past the politics. This is one of those rare cases when we need business and money to do the talking because progressives, economists and American business are all on the same side.

Next week we have David Dayen for the interview on his new book, Chain of Title. Enjoy these few, final days of Spring. Carrots! –  Arliss

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If you’d like to contact Landon about his work, he can be reached at info@apmathlabs.com.

The Awful Truth: Trafficking of LGBT Youth in the US is a reality

25 April 2016 Rachel Hutchison of Irreverent Testimony joined me as a guest host because Arliss is on vacation.

Today we started with a tiny bit of coverage on the Scottish elections. Our UK listeners will note that I didn’t talk much about Nicola and that’s because I’m saving a full segment for her next week when I talk about the Scottish elections on May 5th. Only when those are over and done with will I give Brexit my full attention.

Then Rachel and I followed with a discussion of LGBT strategy when it comes to elections as well as a discussion about how we take state governments back.

Our interview was with social worker Molly Judson, who’s been on the front lines for just over two decades. Because of the subject matter, LGBT children and teens who’ve been enslaved right here in the US, this was one of the hardest interviews I’ve ever done. Molly deals with these issues directly. Looking at the ways that LGBT teens are being enslaved is extremely bleak – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Especially if we’re all vigilant and become involved. Even the smallest effort at this point will be better than the wall of silence we face. Call your senator or congressman’s office, and ask them why the trafficking of LGBT youth isn’t a priority. Silence is deadly but you can be a part of the change we need.

The following resources were provided to us by Molly and we hope they’ll be useful in combating the scourges of bigotry, trafficking and modern slavery in the United States.

National Runaway Hotline (www.1800runaway.org):
1-800-RUNAWAY
Resources and support for runaway youth and their families

Trevor Project (www.thetrevorproject.org) – LGBTQ Crisis Line – Counselors trained in areas of support specific to LGBTQ issues
1-866-488-7368 – Hotline
1-202-304-1200 – Textline

Human Trafficking Resource Center (https:traffickingresourcecenter.org)
Hotline – if you are a victim of trafficking or suspect someone is being trafficked, please call the hotline:
1-888-373-7888 – National Human Trafficking Hotline

Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (www.combathumantrafficking.org) – lots of research and ways to get involved in anti-human trafficking efforts. Based in Colorado, the Laboratory is one of the most well-respected research organizations.

They also help run the Human Trafficking Hotline for Colorado – 1-866-455-5075 (if you or someone you know is or is suspected of being trafficked in Colorado, there are many resources available)

Trans Lifeline – translifeline.org – suicide and crisis line for trans*-identified individuals
1-877-565-8860 – US
1-877-330-6366 – Canada

True Colors Fund – 40toNone Day is April 27, 2016 – go to the website (truecolorsfund.org) to sign up for advocacy efforts.

Will

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Podcasters Roundtable with Tom, Rachel and Travis

18 April 2016 – Arliss is on vacation for two weeks but we’ve decided to go ahead with the show. For a little fun Tom Cheevers of the Coffee Cast joined us, along with Tom and Rachel Hutchison of Irreverent Testimony.

Our frenetic roundtable conversation ran the fullest possible gamut from religion, to the chaos of  the GOP primary, to terrorism and then to feminism. Great fun was had by all as we fought through some of the tougher issues we’re dealing with in the modern world.

Next week Rachel will be back for a regular format program including an interview with a very special guest. We’ll be covering LGBT issues in depth so tune in, you won’t want to miss it. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you all next week.

Will

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