show episodes
 
For our regular listeners of Extremely Offline: It’s been a while! Since we effectively closed down XO, the world has gone to shit. We’re not necessarily saying the one caused the other, but just in case, we’re bringing the pod back, but under a new name. Zaid and I, along with our friend Shant Mesrobian, have launched a new show on YouTube called “The Backchannel,” and we’re going to stream it here as an audio podcast, as well. The format is a little different, and a little looser, than XO, ...
 
Keeping democracy alive Democracy is not a spectator sport, it requires informed participating citizens. On Keeping Democracy Alive, we delve into dynamics that both inhibit democracy and reinvigorate it. looking into issues from: domestic economic issues to foreign, labor, trade, and education policy, NSA spying, the drug war, prison, police, and judicial issues, electoral and protest politics, middle east realities, right and left wing populism, environmental and energy issues, the wealth ...
 
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show series
 
“Crisis at the Border.” The truth is: unless we get to the root of how bad it has to be to force people to leave home, the refugees will keep coming. On this show political anthropology professor David Vine reveals The post To Stop Northward Migration, Address the Causes appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Traditional liberals argued we’d alienate some by civil disobedience in the streets of Washington. The idea was to stop the center of the war machine to stop the war, which went on an on despite marches and speeches and everyone The post The Remarkable Success of MayDay 1971 appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
The dehumanized Amazon warehouse as pictured in the movie Nomadland is more benign than reality. There is an “existential bleakness” where every instant is being watched, humans serve robots, and one can be fired by algorithm. In his powerful new The post The Biggest, Least Human Power in America: Amazon appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
How do we define our "tribes"? That's a word that gets thrown around a lot these days - political tribes, ideological tribes, religious tribes, national tribes... it's just tribalism all the way down. Tribalism, factionalism - whatever you want to call "strong loyalty to one's own social group" - has been with us forever, and we'll never be rid of …
 
Self-professed “patriots” stormed the US Capitol Building January 6th, but it was Vietnam Veterans Against the War in late April 1971 who were the real patriots. They came for what they considered another tour of duty, after serving in the The post In Military Gear, Patriots Invade the Capital: 50 Years Ago appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive…
 
You may have read recently about a flare up of rioting in Belfast. It’s all a result of Boris Johnson’s Brexit. Scholar Kenneth Surin, a British citizen teaching in the US, explains what’s going on in Northern Ireland. Though it’s The post Troubles in Northern Ireland: Unforeseen Brexit Blues appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
As our guest Chuck Collins explains, it’s like one person orders expensive wine for a dinner crowd and sneaks out without paying. His new book is titled The Wealth Hoarders; How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions. What he calls The post How the Wealth Defense Industry Poisons Democracy appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
How often do you think about how you access the internet? Not in the general sense, but the actual act of accessing it: the descriptive text you read underneath an item for sale, the buttons you click or tap to signal an intent or complete an action, or an input field to type a credit card number, select a country or state, or scroll through a set …
 
The monuments to Confederate leaders are all about altering the realities of history to empower and enforce old mythic beliefs. They are there on courthouse lawns to remind black southerners of their place. One this show, Southern historian Karen Cox The post No Common Ground for Confederate Monuments appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
The message of his calm kneeling and centuries of racist violence is: you could be next, black person. Chauvin knew only 1% of police killing black people are even prosecuted. There have been others caught on film in broad daylight The post Hands in His Pockets as He Kills George Floyd appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Americans talk about the surge at the border, but the real point is everyone has a right to stay home. Today’s guest Avi Chomsky says that under Biden, Trump’s cement wall is instead outsourced to a militarized high-tech barrier. Do The post Border Crisis? How About A Right to Stay Home appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
If there's anything we've learned over the last year, it's that it's not enough to get important information right - you have to communicate that information successfully, too. Because if the data you need to share isn't being heard by the very people that need to hear it, it may as well not exist! Social media consultant and communication speciali…
 
He came in as a macho Cold War president but after the reality of near nuclear war, John Kennedy became a changed man. He gave an important speech about peace in June 1963. Now the Cold War is back and The post Can Biden Complete JFK’s Start at Peace? appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.By Burt Cohen
 
Fierce nationalism and the insistence that the US is indispensable to organize the world has played itself out. With awareness of climate change, worldwide opposition to racism, and the avoidable persistence of great poverty, could this be the time once The post Stronger than Ever : The One World Idea is Back appeared first on Keeping Democracy Ali…
 
How do you know what's true, and what's false? What's right, or wrong? How do you know... what you know? You likely heard all of it somewhere, and for you to hear it, somebody had to say it. Because for us to be able to figure out what's true - in order to form a more perfect union - we must be able to speak with one another, freely. Greg Lukianoff…
 
Fossil fueled fascism is not limited to the west. The roots of India’s ruling party go back to Mussolini and Nazis. Repressing minorities as they increase wealth and power of the autocratic rulers. The US is tight with Prime Minister The post The Rise of Fascism: It’s India’s Turn appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
The vaccines are here, and they're amazing. But there's still so much pessimism and confusion about how effective these vaccines actually are, which ones are "best," and what anyone can actually do after they've been vaccinated. This is a special episode, to get you justifiably excited about the rest of the year, and your life going forward. Share …
 
These days, when we hear the phrase "growing up," it tends to mostly reference the growth in inches and feet. But for a child to a grow up, they don't just need to physically grow, they need to grow mentally and emotionally as well. The recent cultural normalization of what is colloquially referred to as "helicopter parenting" has brought with it e…
 
Even if it never makes it on TV, progressive action does make a difference. There’s a place for all activists, forcing hidden problems and opportunities to the fore. Our guest Dinah Yessne has a new book called Politically Defined. There’s The post Unknown Activist: Challenges, Successes, and Rewards appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Pounding on windows, yelling Stop the Count; the tactics of physical intimidation (led by the president’s men) succeeded in crushing democracy in the US election of 2000. On part one, our guest historian Robert Toplin tells the story where fear The post Democracy Lost to Powerful Men in 2000, but Women Saved it in 1937 appeared first on Keeping Dem…
 
Interviewed in Israel, Jewish author Larry Derfner says Israel has never been held accountable and argues the International Criminal Court is right to investigate Israel for war crimes. Boycott, Divest,and Sanction has been ineffective and that the right has used The post Jewish Israeli: Time to Hold Israel Accountable at The Hague appeared first o…
 
So much we have to learn from January 6th. On the first part of today’s show History Professor Robert Schneider calls it a “Populist Transgression,” without a legitimate grievance. Other uprisings and disruptions are purposeful. He likens Trump to Mao: The post A Carnival of Breaking Stuff and Lynching: January 6th appeared first on Keeping Democra…
 
Children need adults. They need them for guidance, for discipline, for inspiration, and of course, formal education. But often when we talk about education, our attention is almost exclusively focused on those adults. What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? What are they doing too much or too little of, and how can we stop them? And w…
 
The greedy hyper-wealthy cheer on their Republican advocates as they fight to crush democracy. But a lot of American millionaires are also patriots and recognize that more democracy is needed to build the common good. On this show, Morris Pearl, The post Patriotic Millionaires Boosting Democracy through HR 1 And More appeared first on Keeping Democ…
 
American presidents have assumed that our place is at the head of the table with our European counterparts. In his first (virtual) meeting as president with German and French leaders, Biden was met by, what KDA’s most popular guest Patrick The post We’re Not at the Head of the Table Anymore appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
In John Rawls' 1971 book, A Theory of Justice, he offers a thought experiment known as the Veil of Ignorance. Behind this veil, no knows who they are. They don't know their race, class, age, sex, privileges, disadvantages, or even their personality. Only once they step through the veil will they know their place in society. But before they take tha…
 
Jefferson saw America as sovereign independent states, only unified for defensive foreign policy. But today both left and right recognize the costs of empire are too high. And we are really too big to govern. Splitting into more natural bio-regions The post What Happens to the Nukes if The US Splits Up? appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
You're listening to what is known as a "Call to Action." It's an invitation for the listener to do something. Most shows put calls to action at the beginning or end of episodes. I don't want to do that. They take up space, disrupt the flow of the show, and distract from the guest. But - this show will benefit from you giving it a five-star rating, …
 
The assault on science and reason:we’ve seen it before. In the plagues of the 1300s and in 1918, as well as Covid-19, fear and uncertainty combine to draw out extremism. On this show professor of history at Messiah University (an The post Plagues And Extremism: A Perfect Storm appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Social distancing has separated us from the ones we care about, and cut us off from the day-to-day lives we've so long known. The mental and emotional toll of this prolonged isolation has been excruciating for many. But can we find a silver lining? May we use this time to become better friends and better partners, even fuller versions of ourselves?…
 
They are often pictured as competitive opponents, but Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were “The Sword and the Shield” leading the same revolution with the shared goal of human dignity. On this show, Dr Peniel Joseph talks about his The post A Surprising Team for Justice: Malcolm X and Martin Luther King appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Are America’s perpetual wars having the desired effect of enhancing national security? As USAF retired lieutenant colonel William Astore says “Terrorist acts are mostly the recourse of the weak when taking on the strong. The United States isn’t going to The post Can it Happen Now: Real National Security, an End to Endless Wars? appeared first on Ke…
 
Society has got you figured out: they talk about you like they know you, like you're part of a collective. They take a group, and pair it with either an adjective or a noun. "White this." "Black that." There's too many of "you," and too few of "them." You talk like this long enough, and it can be easy to slip into a way of thinking about other peop…
 
The former president embodied what our guest calls confined masculinity: old cages locking men into highly limited macho roles. January 6th was a prime example of this. In the new book he co-authored Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion The post After the Winter of Trump: A Masculine Spring? appeared first on Keeping Democrac…
 
Despite the myths, there is less opportunity to climb the ladder out of poverty in America than in other modern nations. Did you know a majority of Americans will experience poverty in their lifetimes? And that childhood poverty costs us The post Poverty: Change the Structure of the Game appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Unlike other industrialized nations, America values celebrity over governing well. FDR was a rare exception,he became a celebrity because he served America so well. Then there was Reagan, who did great lasting damage to our country yet remains revered as The post The Price of Mythologizing Former Presidents appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive…
 
Why does nothing seem to make sense, anymore? Why do all of our important words seem so slippery, and our definitions ever harder to define? What is a liberal? What really is a conservative? And what does 'liberalism' - the philosophy that undergirds the foundation of American society - actually mean today? Writer and filmmaker Jay Shapiro has spen…
 
What is this powerful hold the Pentagon has over our “civilian” government? Since Clinton’s presidency both parties have felt a need to look tough on defense; Biden and Trump competed for military support. That may be changing as America sees The post Demilitarizing Our Democracy appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Climate change is a pressing issue that requires both our attention and our action. But why does so much of modern environmental activism seem to come from one side of the aisle? The American Conservation Coalition's Quill Robinson offers a conservative case for solving climate change. American Conservation Coalition Trump Is Out of Touch With Repu…
 
On part one: By strict legal standards, Donald Trump is obviously guilty. But the impeachment trial is a political not a legal proceeding, the Republican majority senate is the jury. And according to Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National The post Two-fer: Senate Trial Realities and Biden’s China Conundrum appeared first on Keeping Democra…
 
Racism is real. Its devastating historical effects can still be felt today, and the misguided and harmful beliefs that we've inherited from previous generations can have a profound impact on how we see and treat one another. The anti-racist movement is a response to these injustices, and anti-racism training has sprung up across private and public …
 
When one thinks of people in poverty, what judgements come up? Did you know that the vast majority are working often two or three jobs? When you go to a bank or a mortgage, do they ask you how much The post Broke In America: Policies Not People Are To Blame appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.By Burt Cohen
 
The Electoral College was born in a hasty compromise in the 18th century. Could it finally be about to change and enable more democracy? Though you probably haven’t heard of it, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is moving steadily The post We Can Make the Popular Vote Rule appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Sure, the south was defeated militarily, but their attitudes remained, as we saw in the January 6th insurrection. What we saw is not a fringe, in fact it has deep roots. Disunity is traditional in American history. People in the The post One Nation Indivisible: Really? Forever? appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
America isn't just a geographical location, or a mass of 330 million people living within a set of lines drawn on a map. America is the story it tells itself about itself. And adding new chapters feels natural enough - time marches forward, and so does a story. But what happens if, while expanding the scope of what's in front of us, we narrow the s…
 
No one likes an outside power coming in and having control over them. But that’s exactly what has pervaded the Middle East for over a hundred years. Some of the effects of America’s recent wars there include epidemics of birth The post New President: New Better Mideast Policy? appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
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