Didactic SynCast #98: A Huge Explosion of News

It’s been a really long time since I’ve done a podcast, and I appreciate all the kind words of encouragement (and demands) that I’ve gotten. Here, finally, is the new show! (Yay.)

DS#98: A Huge Explosion of News

Top Links + Action

Current Events

Economics

Education

Killer Robots, Etc

Hip-Hop

Lupe Fiasco: “Mural”

Taibbi: The Divide

Matt Taibbi’s new book The Divide is superb. Everyone needs to read it right away. He oscillates from heartbreaking descriptions of people arrested for “blocking pedestrian traffic” (these arrests are purely done to meet police quotas) and enraging explanations of white-collar criminal activity that’s never investigated, let alone punished.

What emerges is a devastating critique of dysfunctional American injustice, especially for those on the top and bottom of our economic system. Toward the end he explains beautifully:

This goes far beyond the oft-quoted liberal cliché about how we now have “two Americas”, one for the rich and one for the poor, with different sets of laws and different levels of punishment (or more to the point, nonpunishment) for each. The rich have always gotten breaks and the poor have always had to swim upstream. The new truth is infinitely darker and more twisted.

The new truth is a sci-fi movie, a dystopia. And in this sci-fi world the issues aren’t justice and injustice, but biology and mortality. We have a giant, meat-grinding bureaucracy that literally alters the physical makeup of its citizens, systematically grinding down the losers in a smaller, meeker, lower race of animal while aggrandizing the winners, making them bigger than life, impervious, super-people.

Again, the poor have always faced the sharp end of the stick. And the rich have always fought ferociously to protect their privilege, not just in America but everywhere.

What’s different now is that these quaint old inequities have become internalized in that “second government” — a vast system of increasingly unmangeable bureaucracies, spanning both the public and private sectors. These inscrutable, irrational structures, crisscrossing back and forth between the worlds of debt and banking and law enforcement, are growing up organically around the pounding twin impulses that drive modern America: burning hatred of all losers and the poor, and breathless, abject worship of the rich, even the talentless and undeserving rich.

Didactic SynCast #95: Castrating Pigs on a Urine Comet

I know sometimes it seems like this blog is just a list of recent SynCast episodes, but .. well, I can’t think of a way to finish that sentence. I should write more here, but I guess I feel like I need something special when it’s time to write. Also I’m mad busy! Deal with it.

Anyway, in this episode I reflect on Ferguson, the US midterm elections, the TPP trade agreement, and (of course) fracking. Enjoy!

DS#95: Castrating Pigs on a Urine Comet

Top Links + Action

Current Events

Economics

Killer Robots, Etc

Hip-Hop: Dem Atlas

The Didactic Interview: Adam Sherburne

For decades I’ve been a fan of the industrial music group Consoldiated. Their energetic music and political lyrics lit a fire in me at an early age, and I’ve benefited tremendously from their work.

Today I had the honor to spend an hour talking with Adam Sherburne, former front man of Consolidated and coordinator of a group in Portland called Free Music. We discussed music, capitalism, white supremacy, and a dozen other topics. Check it out.

DS Interview: Adam Sherburne

(I forgot to drop the level of my mic before recording, so the audio is a bit crummy. Apologies all around.)

I should have a full SynCast up before too long. Thanks for listening!

Didactic SynCast #93: The Formula

It’s been months, but this show is worth the wait. Over two hours of didactic goodness! We’re covering everything from Iraq to Edward Snowden to people pretending to be US Department of Energy spokesmen. Plus — as always — we give you the latest on fracking and high-frequency trading, with a visit from everyone’s favorite cigar-sucking businessman.

Enjoy!

DS#93: The Formula

Top Links

Take Action

Current Events

Economics

Education

Killer Robots, Etc

Hip-Hop

I’m postponing the discussion of hip-hop for a special episode coming soon. Stay tuned!