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11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.09 Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

11.09 A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke

11.08 Medicaid’s stunning victory

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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

11.13 'You Sound Nervous': Gillum Mocks Trump as President Demands End to Florida Recount

11.13 Kyrsten Sinema wins Arizona Senate race in breakthrough for Democrats

Justice Matters

11.09 Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally [Making America Less Great Again...]

High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]

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11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.14 Brexit: May tells her cabinet, this is the deal – now back me

11.11 Tax reform: down with the ‘stepped-up basis’

International & Futurism

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

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  An Open Letter to Pacifica Radio's KPFA Management
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KILLING REPORTING OF THE NON-CORPORATE SIDE OF NEWS THAT MATTERS:

An Open Letter to Pacifica Radio's KPFA Management

by Stephen Lendman
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Subject: A "truth emergency" over censorship at Pacifica's flagship station

By implementing early December budget and staff cuts, KPFA's management targeted its award-winning Flashpoints Radio for extinction, sullied the name of its founder, Lew Hill, and defiled fundamental First Amendment freedoms without which no others are possible.

On April 15, 1949, Hill went on the air saying: "This is KPFA, listener-sponsored radio in Berkeley" and launched America's first independent, listener-supported, "people's radio" as a sanctuary for free speech, dissent, alternative voices, social justice, and human dignity unlike anything previously heard.

Unless reversed, management's decision will deprive listeners in 30 US cities, and online globally, of some of the most vital and respected programming anywhere - thanks to the heroic work of Dennis Bernstein, Nora Barrows-Friedman, and the entire Flashpoints team, dedicated to providing accurate, in-depth coverage of the most-cutting edge issues with an array of distinguished guests.

Bernstein calls cutting 30% of its annual budget "a political battle. Management has pumped up (their internal supporters') budgets, and at the same time tried to kill Flashpoints through intimidation and attrition, and outright disrespect. (Now management) is about to deal the show a final blow," one as well to Pacifica's founding purpose and stated mission to:

  • "to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between any and all....nations, races, creeds and colors;"
  • "promote the study of political and economic problems and of the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms;" and
  • distribute public information fully, accurately, objectively, and comprehensibly "on all matters vitally affecting the community."

Hill believed Berkeley was the best place to do it because of the university and its diversity of people, hopefully as committed as he was. He and others worked from 1946 - 1949, recruited the staff, raised the money, got a license, and began broadcasting "sounds that (would) change the world," ones now threatened with extinction.

Several years ago, I contacted Bernstein, spoke to him at length, thanked him for his work, expressed my support, sent a check directed solely for Flashpoints, then learned it was used otherwise - without my knowledge or consent.

Today's action is the latest betrayal - attempting to silence the very best, what Lew Hill would be proud of, and what listeners greatly value and respect, Hill's idea that:

"The people who actually do the broadcasting should also be responsible for what and why they broadcast. In short, they must control the policy which determines their actions. Whatever else may happen, we thus assign to the participating individual the responsibility, artistic integrity, freedom of expression, and the like, which in conventional radio are normally denied him. KPFA is operated literally on this principle," and he meant never to corrupt it.

He believed in pacifism, non-violence, and free expression, and wanted programming to feature it during the height of the McCarthy era's witch-hunts against voices on the left, ones he called "subversives, loyalty risks, unpatriotic, (and) card-carrying communists" to target the innocent and silent dissent - a spirit revived by KPFA's management in defiance of Hill's legacy, and a betrayal of a loyal audience's trust.

Democracy requires a free, open, vibrant and diverse media, elements losing out to management's decision to make KPFA a force for oligarchy, not free expression and social justice.

Action Alert

  1. Support Flashpoints Radio, its co-hosts and staff.
  2. Email KPFA General Manager Lemlem Rijio at gm@kpfa.org.
  3. Demand the announced staff and budget cuts be reversed, and tell others to do the same thing. It's our media, our choice, and our responsibility to support the right of free people to be informed - fully, openly, and accurately by heroic hosts like Bernstein, Barrows-Friedman, and others like them doing what good journalists should - their job.

Steve Lendman

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national topics. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on December 17, 2009.
 



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