United Nation’s International Year o the Cooperative

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices.

What is the first thing you think of when I say a corporation? You might think of a Wall Street executive, sitting high on their throne.  You might think of a company that exploits their workers or people around the world.  But what about a company that promotes and works for the betterment of society and their community?

With that, I present to you an alternative to the traditional business model: The Cooperative.

There are cooperatives all around the world and in almost as many sectors.  But the main idea of a cooperative, is that the workers own and run the business, making it democratic and equitable for all those involved.  Workers stand in solidarity with management, because they are essentially one in the same.  But best of all, cooperatives have a strong sense of community and work at all times, to make sure that their business and business practices have a positive impact on the people and community around them.

My guest this week is Ms. Shamshad Aktar, the Assistant Secretary General of the Department of Economic  and Social Affairs at the United Nations.  Her department played a key role in organizing and making 2012 the International Year of the Cooperatives.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

I Am A Corporate Whistleblower

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices.


How would you hide 2 billion dollars? Would you stash it away in an offshore account? Would you bury parts of it around the world, with only you knowing the exact locations? Or, if you could, would you hide it in plain sight?
In October 2011, it was reported by the Olympus Corporation, the Japanese manufacture of optics products including digital cameras was doing just that.  But, these allegations weren’t coming from a corporate watchdog group working off of a tip they received.  It also wasn’t coming from a disgruntled employee hoping to bring the entire company down.  The push for an investigation, and some answers into $2 billion dollars in fraud was coming from the then President and CEO of the Olympus Corporation, Michael Woodford.  



After demanding answers and taking it upon himself to begin looking into his company’s own financial records, he was dismissed from his role as President and CEO and sent packing.  However, he still had his story, and enough proof for a solid story.  He told it to the first journalist he could reach and the next day, Olympus’s misgivings were on the front page of newspapers around the globe.
This is the story of Michael Woodford, the first CEO whistler blower. He is also the author of Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal: How I Went From CEO to Whistleblower.  My guest is Michael Woodford to tell his account on blowing the whistle on the Olympus Corporation.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Protecting You From Reality – Media Censorship

This week on A Community of Voices:

As an independent radio show, and as a member of the independent media, I pride myself on the content of the show. A Community of Voices does not report to anyone but the current news cycle, the interests of my listeners, and to my own personal ethics.  I started A Community of Voices as a resource to bring attention to overlooked topics, news, and information.

But, as you know, not all media is like this.  There are what we are frequently call mainstream media outlets that have a clear and cut agenda.  These news outlets sometimes act as the propaganda arm of a corporate or political machine. Sometimes facts are distorted, stories are overlooked, and the real news isn’t told.

This is called media censorship. When media outlets do not factually or accurately, or fully tell a news story, they are only doing a disservice to themselves, but a disservice to the consumer.

But there is hope.  There are individuals in mainstream and alternative media outlets that fight through smoke screen, and are able to report on issues that would otherwise go unnoticed.  These individuals and organizations are doing a great service to the consumer, as they are allowing everyone, to be fully aware of the world and current affairs around them.

My guest this week is Professor Mickey Huff.  Mickey is the director of Project Censored, a non-profit organization that tracks and reports on unnoticed and censored news. Mickey is a professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College in the San Francisco and is the co-host of the project censored show, airing on Pacifica’s KPFA.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

How to Start a Successful Revolution: The Icelandic Pots and Pans Revolution

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices!

Over the past few years we have seen a number of countries fall.  Some like Egypt and Tunisia, fell as a result of dissatisfaction with their government, and in some cases, human rights abuses.  Others, like Greece and Spain, were close to falling because of pro-longed economic and financial crises.
But one country in Europe that is so often overlooked when thinking about revolution is Iceland.  Iceland completely overhauled their government and politicians, and maybe in the near future, even their constitution.  But you won’t see their peaceful revolution on the six o’clock news. 


Beginning in late 2008, Iceland faced a crippling economic crisis.  Banks fell and the country went into bankruptcy.  But Icelanders carried on.  What started as a fringe group of upset people, turned into massive protests with people banging their pots and pans in the street.  Their disapproval of what was happening inside the country turned into what is now known as the Pots and Pans Revolution.  Iceland’s story is proof that when people speak loud enough in unity their countries and their governments are forced to listen.
My guest today is Iceland’s Ambassador to the United States Gudmunder Steffanson.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny


Institutionalized Greed

Happy New Year! from  A Community of Voices!

With a new year comes a renewal for people to pursue their dreams.  To many, this is striving to come closer and closer to finding out what the American Dream really is.

But what if you just can’t achieve the American Dream? What if the entire system is fighting against you?

Their are forces in the United States that is systematically taking apart any chance for working families and individuals to move forward.  A push by the right and conservative thinkers has been breaking down what chances workers have.  Greed has become institutionalized and so many people, from the right and the left and the center, are all fighting to make sure that they are taken care of.

My guest this week is Frances Causey, the writer, director, and producer of the documentary Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny