Show 328: “911: The Day that Changed Everything?”

“911: The Day that Changed Everything?” w/ Deepa Kumar

It has been 9 years since the terrorist attacks on two cities in the US, that – at least according to the ruling classes – changed the world forever.  Certainly, these passing years have indeed changed the lives of many.  Many lives have been lost, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, American families have lost or welcomed home maimed and distraught young men and women from the Middle East, the American Left has been even more marginalized than before, despite an early, strong resistance to the Iraq invasion back in 2003, and tensions have been drawn between people of differing religions (and the non religious), not the least of these being, of course, Muslims here and abroad.

Every year since 911 – particularly with the vicious and sometimes delusional attacks on President Obama – fear and hatred of Muslims everywhere has grown to dangerous proportions, culminating thus far in a major protest over a  proposed Muslim Center near Ground Zero, to planned Koran burnings in Florida by a Christian Pastor. What is going on here, and can it be stopped before we have a full-fledged disaster on our hands? And can the Left find a voice in these deeply troubling times when those who seem to be heard the loudest – and who have genuine concerns we on the Left share – are taking their cues from the radical right?

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Show 310: Conspiracy!

Special 2-Hour Fund Drive Program: Conspiracy!

For much of the last century, mainly Far Right groups or individuals engaged in conspiracy theorizing often to scapegoat other groups or individuals who were considered legitimate targets for the mainstream to blame their overall sociopolitical dilemmas of the time.  European Jews conspiring against Germany and Christian Germans, according to the NAZI’s, is one famous example. The KKK and Neo-Nazis targeting blacks by trying to re-interpret the US Constitution is another.

Chip Berlet, senior analyst for the independent think tank Political Research Associates, has explained when talking about modern examples of this via the Tea Party Movement and Anti-Obama-isms in the United States, “Right-wing pundits demonize groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people in the audience already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States.”

But what about Progressives, Liberals and others on the Left who have also engaged in what some have called Conspiracy Theories? Who are the people to be scapegoated in their case? Of course… the rich or powerful elites.  But while the so-called elites thought up by the Far Right never existed as advertised, we do live in a society where the rich and powerful can be shown to indeed manipulate the masses through indoctrination via the public school system, the media, and other means of propaganda.  So how can one separate fact from fiction as they exist with Left-leaning Conspiracy Theorizing?

For years on WBAI-NY, you’ve heard mainly one side of the story, while all others are often taken on these airwaves and among the Left in general, with great suspicion and seen as establishment apologetics.

Equal Time for Freethought’s mission advocates using critical thinking and scientific method to understand the world around us; and, moreover, trying to understand how such can help us implement progressive social change.

So in this light, we will look at the most recent, infamous conspiracy theorizing regarding 9/11 as well as the history of Right-Wing and Left-Wing Conspiracy theorizing via the History Channel special “The 9/11 Conspiracies: Fact or Fiction,” and a research document edited by progressive Chip Berlet called “Toxic to Democracy.”

Joining us on the phone will be skeptic and author Robert M. Price, and Kathyrn Olmsted, author of “Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11.”

Show 282: Thinking Critically: Zeitgeist I & II

Two-Hour Fund Drive Program – Thinking Critically: Zeitgeist I & II

Zeitgeist, the Movie is a 2007 documentary film about “social myths”, including religion, 9/11 and the banking system. The sequel, Zeitgeist: Addendum, advocates a new technology-based social system influenced by the ideas of Jacque Fresco and the Venus Project.

A remastered version of the film was screened on November 10, 2007 at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood as part of a film festival held there (the 4th Annual “Artivist Film Festival”) where it won the “Best Feature” award in the “Artivist Spirit” category for feature-length documentaries. In 2008, “Zeitgeist Addendum”, the sequel, received the same award. These awards feature prominently in the two films’ promotional material but have failed to attract any interest in the media.

The Zeitgeist Movement is a worldwide grassroots movement advocating broad social advancements, most notably, the application of the Scientific Method for human social concern and overall well-being. One major goal of the movement is for modern global society to transition from a monetary based economy to a resource-based economy.

PS: As of 2008, the director of the films, Peter Joseph, has backed down from the 9/11 claims made in the first film but still advocates for both films’ take on the Federal Reserve, Capitalism, Religion and Technology.

Show 224a: “The Deepening Crisis: Islam and the Structure of Global Power”

From 9/11 to the continuing invasion and occupation of Iraq to the saber rattling of a possible war against Iran, Americans have been inundated by the so-called “war on terror;” and at least as some see it, the war against Fundamentalist Islam. On the Right, we hear of “Islamo-fascism” and are warned that if we don’t stifle the great evil of Islamic terrorism, we are heading for another world war. In liberal circles, while the rhetoric is different, we are still told that the U.S. will hunt down terrorists wherever they may be, and that militaristic – even nuclear – measures against the Middle East are very much “on the table.”

In contrast, the Left has recognized that the ‘war on terror’ is really a pseudo-war against that which the U.S. itself helped create, and that our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and perhaps soon in Iran – which are making the world less safe regarding terrorist actions – are about controlling the precious, if deadly, energy resource of oil, and thus controlling the market so as to benefit the rich power elite.
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Show 181a: Ted Honderich on “Right & Wrong”

From Publisher:

“Philosopher Ted Honderich insightfully relates four shattering current events in this articulate, well-reasoned moral and political analysis. Exploring the war in Iraq, the controversy in Palestine, and the tragic events of 9-11 and London’s 7-7, Honderich elucidates the great questions of right and wrong in a conflict-ridden era.

“Ted Honderich, Britain’s foremost radical philosopher, is Grote Professor Emeritus at University College London and a visiting professor at the University of Bath. He is internationally recognized for his numerous books on philosophy, including Punishment: The Supposed Justifications Revisited, Conservatism, Terrorism for Humanity, After the Terror, and How Free Are You?  Honderich, in Right and Wrong, and Palestine, 9-11, Iraq, 7-7…, discusses what is wrong with our perceptions of the Middle East, with our American (and British) styled democracies, and how we might discern an ethical system to create a more humane planetary society.”

Show 165: Robert Dreyfuss on How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam

Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam

“I wrote Devil’s Game to fill in a gap amid the millions of words that have been written about political Islam and U.S. policy since September 11, 2001.

“It’s the story before the story, and it helps answer the question: How did we get into this mess? It’s my contention that part of the answer to that question, at least, is that for half a century the United States and many of its allies saw what I call the “Islamic right” as convenient partners in the Cold War.

“I approached this book not as an historian, but as a journalist. A great deal of it is based on scores of interviews with men and women from the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. military, and the private sector who participated in many of these events. And I relied on dozens of published works. Most of the sources I interviewed are quoted on the record, and virtually every fact in the book is footnoted…” – Robert Dreyfuss

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