Guilty of Free Speech – Interview with Beau Hodai

Guilt of Free Speech?

June 26, 2013

Audio to Come Soon…

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Guilty of Free Speech? Surveillance on Occupy Wall Street

Welcome back to A Community of Voices – Radio for the People, Powered by the People

For long periods in our history, the federal government has kept tabs on American Citizens.  Whether or not this is justifiable is up for debate, but no one can argue that it is not happening.

In May of 2013, another chapter in surveillance was written into public knowledge.  After a year of research and thousands of pages of primary sources from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the surveillance efforts on the Occupy Wall Street movement is now well documented.  But while surveillance was undoubtedly occurring on the Occupy Wall Street movement and its protestors, the question remains: were these individuals guilty of any crime to warrant being searched, or were they simply just guilty of exercising their first amendment right to freedom of speech?
My guest today is Beau Hodai, publisher of DBA Press.  In the conjunction with the Center for Media and Democracy, Beau is the author of the report, “Dissent or Terror, How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

The Case for Reducing Pentagon Spending

Welcome back to A Community of Voices, Radio for the People, Powered by the People.

For almost half of life, the United States has been at War.  We have spent trillions upon trillions of dollars in Pentagon Spending.  But what has been the cost of all of this on you & on me & on our children & our future? 

There are so many bloated and outdated programs that continue to be funded, even though they are not making us any safer.  Even more than that, we, as the American people, have spoken & we demand moving our money to Jobs, Not Wars. 
Pentagon spending now equals almost half of the entire government’s discretionary budget.  Taking this even further, the amount of money the United States spends on our military equals to almost half of all military spending worldwide.  And the solution is simple.  A bipartisan task force has found $1 trillion in savings that will not sacrifice our security.  By eliminating waste and fraud from the Pentagon budget, and by ending the war in Afghanistan, we can be on the road to a safer and healthier and more secure future. 
Our nations and our people are facing serious threats… 21st century threats, and Congress must adopt a Pentagon budget that reflects these, not one that continues on a road to war and violence and destruction.  We are facing high rates of unemployment and critics have said that cutting Pentagon spending will further hurt the economy.  Well, I am here to tell you that this is just untrue.  Moving $1 Billion away from outdated and bloated Pentagon programs has the potential of creating 1.5 to 2.5 times more jobs in sectors that benefit ALL of the American people.  By ending the War in Afghanistan, we can invest, truly and wholeheartedly invest, in the needs of the people.  The amount of money Cincinnati spent on the war in 2012 could alternatively provide health care for over 55 thousand low income children or VA medical benefits for almost 13 thousand military veterans or provide jobs to 15 hundred police officers for a year. 
We are coming to a point where our needs, you and I and our children and families and friends, our needs must be the priorities of Congress.  For too long we have had to bear the weight of war and violence.  And now, it is time for Congress to bear this weight.  Now it is time to end the War in Afghanistan & create a budget that reflects our needs.  Now is the time that our voices are clearly heard and peace takes hold in our country.  Now is the time for JOBS NOT WARS! 

Speech from Jobs Not Wars Rally in Feb. 2013.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

The Realities of Environmental Racism

Welcome back to A Community of Voices: Radio for the People, Powered by the People.

There are many different kinds of racism and discrimination.  Age, gender, country of origin, color of your skin, all of these and so many more can play into the treatment that a person receives.  A person can be denied housing based of their ethnicity, thus leading to racial discrimination.  A person may not get a job or may not get a raise because she is a woman, thus leading to gender discrimination.
But discrimination can be much deeper than this, and at the same time can be much more elusive for the general public to see.  One form that so often is left out of the public debate is the idea of environmental racism, or the lack of environmental justice.
Environmental racism can be defined in a number of ways, but in its most basic form, it is when a community is targeted with detrimental environmental policy making and enforcement.  This can come in the form of toxic waste plants being placed near residential homes, or chemicals working their way into a communities water supply, or even more subtle, such as a disproportionate number of facilities that pollute the air.
My guest this week is Melissa Harris-Perry.  Melissa is the host of “The Melissa Harris-Perry Show” on MSNBC.  She is also a professor of political science at Tulane University in New Orleans, and the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South.
Until next time radio land,
Vinny