Ralph welcomes Dr. Nason Maani, co-editor of “The Commercial Determinants of Health,” to explore the larger forces, forces beyond the power of an individual to control, that shape our environment and therefore our health. Then Chris Hedges stops by to discuss his latest article, “Woke Imperialism” which highlights the tension between class politics and identity politics. Plus, Ralph gives us a short take on President Biden’s State of the Union address.
Woke Imperialism is just one of the tools used by the Deathocrats in their overall strategy which is to provide a false alternative to the Republikillers to prevent any real opposition to the one big money party that is the Deathocrats and Republikillers pretending to be two separate parties.
But it is not limited to the Deathocrats.
It is practiced right here on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour.
Despite having a common goal of getting the big money out of politics, Ralph has not been willing to have a discussion of One Demand as he said he would on Washington Journal (10-24-2018) as One Demand does not fit in to his approach of trying to get the big money legislators to pass public financing legislation and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
As pointed out many times over the years on the Radio Hour, the Congress has changed over the last fifty years as well as the media (pointed out again on this episode in the wrap-up).
What worked fifty years ago will not work with the current big money Congress and media.
The current reality is that the big money legislators will not pass legislation to take big money out of politics as the big money legislators will only pass legislation that primarily benefits the big money interests and the big money interests have no interest in getting the big money out of politics.
The only way to pass legislation or constitutional amendments to get the big money out of politics is to first replace the big money legislators with small donor legislators. The problem has to be solved before legislation to solve the problem can be passed.
It is a failure of civic organization that can only be solved by organizing citizens to demand small donor candidates and enforce that demand with our votes.
And just as citizens can take ownership of our electoral process we can take ownership of the media that is essential to a vibrant democracy.
I have suggested in past comments that we form a media conglomerate of newspapers, radio, tv and internet by selling shares to a non-profit corporation for one hundred dollars each that must be owned by an individual with no one person being allowed to buy more than ten shares. These shares could only be sold for one hundred dollars as the purpose of owning the shares is to own the media.
Just 6-7 % of the 150 million 2020 voters buying just one share would total 1 billion dollars.
These comments disappeared just as quickly as WGO in the switch to Substack.
Ralph's treatment of One Demand and the non-profit media conglomerate owned by ordinary citizens would be good topics for Mickey Huff to cover when he appears on the Radio Hour to discuss Project Censored.
As for the State of the Union address, I believe that President Biden failed to address the needs of the citizens. Mr. Nader brings up some valid points, but I’ll also add that Biden crowing about reducing the deficit is a sign of complete failure to show that Biden is concerned about improving matters for the public. Yes, there are disputes about the validity of the reduction claims. Aside from that, it is not in the public’s benefit that the Biden administration is promoting austerity. Reductions in the military budget would be welcomed news on the foreign policy front, but we know the opposite is happening. Instead of right-wing austerity claims, Biden should be promoting substantive spending objectives intended to bring the US back to full employment while substantially increasing health care access, improving public transport, improving general infrastructure, and improving the environment. Instead, we get the president trying to sell a nonsensical reduction in the national deficit as the debt burden is shifted onto the American public due to poor health care access, poor infrastructure, and bad outcomes from poor environmental policy. Right-wingers could not be more pleased.
‘Headlines not heard in the corporate media’ would work for Francesco’s segment, but I’m not picky about the name of the segment. As for the bit about France and Israel, I would be surprised if France takes a policy stance which is much different from that of the US and UK’s stance. France likes to float the idea of a more diplomatic approach to global tensions, but they rarely actually follow that. Meanwhile, France still tries 19th century colonialism tactics in places such as Africa. They are hardly the source of any geopolitical enlightenment. Like the US and Russia, France is a major producer of arms and they profit from militarization. France also has a petrochemical industry and they use nuclear power. With that in mind, perhaps Francesco’s segment next week should mention the recent announcement of the expansion of the French military budget. According to a Jan. 20th Reuters report, it is projected that France’s military budget will double in 2030 as compared to 2017 when Macron came into power. There is also Macron’s bizarre "We need to be one war ahead" claim which must be investigated.
France is currently seeing protests over ‘pension reform’ (increases in retirement age). The decline of French labor and social conditions under corporatism-favoring neoliberal principles might not be of much interest to Americans suffering from the same problems, but the French devolving into neoliberalism under the soft-left leadership of François Mitterrand starting in the early 1980s mirrors the corporate direction taken by the Democratic Party in the US. The US and France have a lot in common, unfortunately. At least the French public is a little more likely to protest even if they are clueless on how to vote.
As for the part of the show with Dr. Maani, I’m pleased to hear a foreign perspective on the issues. I think anyone who reads my long-winded comments knows that I try to take an international approach to the issues. I’ve been following the expansion of fast food in Europe, especially by American companies, and it is largely mirroring the expansion of fast food in the United States in the 1960s-1990s. England alone, a relatively small area, has over 1,000 McDonald’s locations! France and Germany have similar numbers. That is just McDonald’s, the other major American brands are in Europe as well.
If Dr. Maani is ever back on, I am curious to hear his thoughts about the rôle of the British media in the rise of the junk food industry in the UK. This may not be as noticeable in Scotland, where McDonald’s ironically has a much smaller presence than in England, but I’ve noticed that many English local newspapers have some sort of addiction towards covering junk food in modern times at least. It’s not always the big chains, sometimes the local junk food peddlers get way too much coverage. I read local British newspapers to get a feel for what is confronting the people there and the quality of the reporting is appalling. Like what we see in the US, many of these newspapers are under the umbrella of a larger media company such as the Daily Mirror. One newspaper in North East England, the Teesside Gazette, might as well rename themselves the Parmo Gazette for their addiction towards covering a local junk food dish called parmo. Things got so bad that a city in the Teesside region, Middlesbrough, put up signs saying “We are Parmo & Chips” around town along with other inane sayings. Fortunately, some locals didn’t want to be associated with junk food and protested. The signs came down quickly. Hooray for local action from the citizens, but it seems to me that the local media’s excessive coverage of junk food led to the whole fiasco. Here’s a BBC article about the parmo situation. I think Steve and David, the local comedians, might enjoy this story, but sadly this does not always have a happy ending like it did with the Middlesbrough signs coming down: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tees-57484181
Anyway, it seems that some local newspapers in England celebrate the opening of a fast food venue even more than they would celebrate the opening of a local school or hospital (though with British austerity, there probably are many more openings of fast food venues than schools and hopsitals). The newspapers always quote some corporate PR nonsense about these fast food venues generating hundreds of jobs. Most of the jobs are low-wage part-time jobs with high turnover. They are McJobs, but the media celebrates these McJobs in places such as Teesside due to the government engaging in policymaking that increases unemployment and decreases in wages. That should sound familiar to those of us in the US.
As Mr. Hedges was making his comments about ‘Woke Imperialism’, I could not help but to think of Cornel West’s struggles at Harvard when Harvard was led by neoliberal kingpin Larry Summers. Thus, I was not surprised to hear Prof. West and Larry Summers brought up later on in the interview. So, yes, I generally agree with Mr. Hedges’ take.
As for the part at the end of the ‘Wrap Up’ about media consolidation and the poor state of the media, I’m not surprised to hear that the San Francisco Chronicle is a poor newspaper. They have the same owners, Hearst, as my local paper, the Houston Chronicle (‘The Comical’). The Houston Chronicle at least is complete rubbish and has been for years now. Hearst as owned them for even longer than they’ve owned the San Francisco Chronicle. The local TV networks in Houston cover the news better than the big newspaper in town even if our local toupee-wearing version of Ralph Nader, Marvin Zindler, died years ago. Granted, the local Pacifica affiliate aside perhaps, if Houston’s ‘news’ and political radio stations were replaced by sports gambling radio, I might actually consider that to be an improvement in the quality of programming. What a sad state of affairs.
I don't like when Ralph is called a political "pundit"..As citizens we are denied even basic passive rights of said citizenship: 1. Health Care including Dental w/taxes paid already 2. Affordable Housing according to a set amount according to income 3. Meaningful work of actual need subsidized by government tax..Instead we are subjected to private interest and making the advantaged class already beyond any economy even richer and more corrupted. The cult of the individual has subverted the collective sense of a Nation.In many ways this nation is still in a plantation master-slave paradigm, as if we only have rights that the slaveholders intended to grant us.
NaderNation! should be your new show's name.
How about the health issues inflicted by 2-cycle black carbon leaf blowers, pollute the air and disturb the peace, how did these devices pass muster of some government agency?Mower 2-cycle gas 20 Hours = 1 years auto emissions .Blower gas 1 hours =8 hours of auto emissions So then what is better for whom or all? Shall we just consider the landscaper, but he not consider us? Whatever happened to the rake?
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I'd like to recommend The Radio Hour bring on the folks behind this initiative to inform us about the crisis in black women's maternal health. The documentary is excellent, and the exposure could help put it in front of more eyes. https://www.birthingjustice.com
"when the last tree is felled" evokes James Watt. Thank you for mentioning. No grounding: even Bill Moyers apologized for the disinformation. (I only just found out, thanks to hearing Ralph. Thank you.)
Are you familiar with Dr. Michael Fine? He's the author of the forthcoming On Medicine as Colonialism (https://pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1322) and would make an incredible guest...
"Boutique activism.." - Chris Hedges. That's so great. An amazing article. Thank you Chris.
What's killing our health? - The answer is,our response to Covid-19, and yet, not mentioned at all. The same way George W Bush took away many of our Foreign Policy freedoms after 911, Donald Trump took away our Health Freedoms in 2020 by executive orders. Joe Biden with his Vaccines Mandates that pushed the USA into a Fascist State. Under Joe Biden's leadership using NIH, FBI and with the help of Private Corporations- Pfizer, Moderna, Google, Facebook, and Twitter took away our free speech and classical scientific Method. Not only our Children will die younger than us, those under 30 are dying more than any other time from heart disease. As I'm writing this post a message came on my phone "World's First' Unvaccinated Dating Service Launches in Hawaii. It would be nice if Ralph Nader Radio Hour gives a platform of respected guests to discuss the long range of our health caused by USA's Covid Policies.