Amitabh Pal on nonviolence in Islam

Listened to a very stimulating interview from a year or so ago with The Progressive Managing Editor Amitabh Pal on his book,"Islam" Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today. The interview touches on a variety of countervailing evidence to the customary assumption that Islam and Muslims are intrinsically predisposed towards violence--unlike, ahem, the wide-eyed pacifists that populate American society--so the book looks really promising. Amitabh Pal interview on The … [Read more...]

Conspiracy theories and “mainstream” criticism of Islam in American politics

I listened to a very stimulating discussion of the underlying nature of conspiracy theories, on both ends of the political spectrum, on the invaluable Against the Grain podcast today.Against the Grain, Tuesday Jan 8, 2013: "What's the Matter with Conspiracy Theories?": From the assassination of JFK to a wide range of theories related to the attacks of September 11, 2001, conspiracy theories seem natural to the left. But should they be? Anarchist historian Peter Staudenmaier discusses the … [Read more...]

Galbraith and Parenti interviews

I'm catching up on "Behind the News." Podcast #1: July 23, 2011 - “James Galbraith on deficit hysteria and the single-volume collection of four books by his father, John Kenneth Galbraith, published by the Library of Amerca nterview with James Galbraith” As in previous interviews, Galbraith argues forcefully that the claims of "crises" looming if Social Security and Medicare aren't "reformed" (read: gutted for ideological as opposed to sound economic rea … [Read more...]

Against the Grain Interview on California’s long history of “genteel Apartheid”

This interview is a fascinating and eye-opening overview of the Golden State's little known history of virulent de facto racial segregation (called "genteel Apartheid" by one sociologist in as far back as 1960). This is important work. We as a society will never be able to have a fair, factually-grounded discussion about social policy so long as we labor under all these Disney-esque misconceptions about the origins of poverty, racism and marginalization in contemporary … [Read more...]