Child sex slavery and pandering. Two well-informed writers talk about a sordid, difficult subject. Nick Bryant has just published The Franklin Scandal, which details a child pandering network run by an influential Republican from Omaha, Lawrence King. King fleeced a credit union of about $40 million, and used his political influence to get the FBI and other law enforcement and judicial agencies to coverup his child sex pandering network, which included the abuse of some residents of Boys Town and the outrageous conviction of one of the female victims on perjury charges. More info at the book's website. Charles A. Bonner is a human rights attorney from the Bay Area, who represented a young girl who was kidnapped and held in a dungeon by a serial rapist; he has published a fiction book based on those real events in Syracuse, NY called The Bracelet. The book also details international sex slavery rings that exploit impoverished young women from third world countries. Bonner offers free legal consultation to victims, you can contact him at .
As many of you know, my little puppy Rocky has been my constant companion since we adopted him about 18 months ago. 13 pounds of unconditional love, I fell for him, hard. Once in a while he'd bark as we were recording a podcast, prompting emails from some of you dog lovers. One thing Rocky really enjoyed was sailing with me on San Francisco Bay--he loved the water and the wind in his face.
A few weeks ago, Rocky joined me for a sail, and in a freak accident, he fell overboard along the Sausalito waterfront. He didn't make a sound, and we did not notice right away. By the time we found him and pulled him out of the water, it was too late.
His loss has hit me harder than I might have expected, but then this was something I never expected. Kathee and I are working through the sadness, and have been comforted by friends and family who loved Rocky and understand our loss. Our thanks to you, and to little Rocky. He will be sorely missed.
McGovern and Solomon on Afghanistan. 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and author/activist Norman Solomon comment on Obama's firing of Gen. McChrystal and failure to change our failed policies in Afghanistan. We talk about the impact of the Rolling Stone article, the media storm that praises the appointment of Gen. Petraeus without serious questions over the counterinsurgency strategies that Obama embraced last year. McGovern suggests that McChrystal, who knows how bad things are in Afghanistan, may have brought on his own dismissal. We comment on contrasting statements from Pentagon chief Gates and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, reports that Pakistan is cutting deals with Afghan President Karzai that go around the US, and the upcoming battle over supplemental appropriations to pay for the military occupation of Afghanistan. Read McGovern's commentaries here, and Solomon's here.
Write That Book Already! Authors Sam Barry and Kathi Kamen Goldmark's new book is an entertaining and informative self-help book for writers; both have worked in publishing and have been published, and their insight and "tough love" are quite valuable. PBC invited his friend and colleague Rona Renner, host of the Childhood Matters radio show to join us for a friendly "intervention". Rona has been thinking about writing a book, and we use her as our author-wanna-be--providing real world examples of the challenges of writing a book and getting it published. We talk about the practical side of writing, getting support, finding an agent, asking for an advance--all the key questions you'll face if you want to write a book. Sam and Kathi also write the "Author Enablers" column. So go write a book, and send a copy to PBC!
Obama & progressives; S.C. Senate challenge ends; Crazy Arizona. In this 98-minute package of news & views, we start with Ari Melber of The Nation and Politico on ObamaCo's support for conservative "Democrats" like Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and open contempt for labor and progressives who opposed her. Melber says the only lefty group getting any traction with the administration is the ACLU, because they are willing to sue over important issues. Brad Friedman of Bradblog reports on the South Carolina Democrats' rejection of the election challenge by Vic Rawl of the miraculous "election" of phantom candidate Alvin Greene; he expands his previous report that Canada's Dominion Voting now owns Diebold/Premier and Sequoia, but not Sequoia's intellectual property, giving Dominion 55% of the US voting machine market; and Brad explains that Karl Rove is now following him on Twitter. Ken Silverstein is the Washington editor of Harpers; he talks about his story on Arizona's legislature in the July issue, which he describes as "composed almost entirely of dimwits, racists and cranks." PBC makes numerous comparisons to California's problems--the state is crashing and the candidates are talking about immigration, a federal issue. Friedman starts at 29:30 and Silverstein starts at 1:11:30
Tibet documentary; single payer for California. Filmmaker Tenzing Sonam talks about the new documentary, The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet's Struggle for Freedom", a fascinating new film that covers the 2008 uprising in Tibet and features many comments from the Dalai Lama in public and private. The film explores the divisions among Tibet citizens and exiles over the Dalai Lama's "middle way approach" (calling for autonomy instead of independence), the Buddhist principles of nonviolence, and the call for independence in the face of China's control of Tibet. Andrew McGuire is a longtime activist who brought us the fire-safe cigarette, California's ban on assault weapons and other health and safety programs. He now leads California One Care in the ongoing political battle for single payer health care. You are invited to create your own message supporting single payer, joining Lily Tomlin, Elliott Gould and many others in the campaign to build support for real reform. McGuire offers a political roadmap to passage, and inspires renewed determination to overcome corporate power to provide health care to all.
The Internets: Social Network Bill of Rights, Legalize online gambling? Two reports on the web: first, attorney Lisa Borodkin reports from the conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy in San Jose. Borodkin and USC law professor Jack Lerner have proposed a bill of rights for social media; she discusses the real lack of privacy and control by users over Facebook and other sites, how most people are clueless about their exposure online, and that operators take advantage of user ignorance. One example: after you delete a photo from Facebook, it is still archived and available to anyone with the correct URL. In our second segment, we talk with Melanie Brenner, head of Poker Voters of America, who is promoting California Senate Bill 1485 to legalize and tax online gambling here; we're joined by my friend and poker player Mark Lewis, who is skeptical of online gambling: "it's not about protecting consumers...it's about money, for the state and the operators". Second segment starts at about 37:22
Developing, Update: SC Senate Primary Results Challenged. Brad Friedman of Bradblog updates us on the developing story of possible election fraud in the 6/8 US Senate primary in South Carolina, where unknown Alvin Greene showed as the winner with 59% of the Democratic votes. The alleged loser, Judge Vic Rawl, announced today (6/14) that he is challenging the election results and made one of the clearest allegations from a candidate that electronic voting machines are a prime suspect. Brad notes that most media outlets and pundits ignore the voting machine angle and/or ridicule people who raise these obvious issues, and that Donna Brazile has been unafraid to raise them on CNN. And His Bradness promises to keep us posted as his investigation continues.
Super Tuesday Electile Dysfunction. Journalist Brad Friedman of Bradblog reports on election irregularities in the June 8 primary elections, and delivers an excloo to the PBC Show: the largest private voting company in America now....is a Canadian company that does not have clear ownership of some of its key software. Brad details his own painful experience trying to vote in L.A. on an electronic device intended for the blind--which malfunctioned in numerous ways over 2+ hours as poll workers tried to get it to work properly--and failing. Brad also raises important questions about Sen. Blanche Lincoln's alleged victory in Arkansas, where Garland County reduced the number of polling places from more than 40 in the primary to only 2 in the runoff, suppressing turnout in a very tight race. Friedman recaps the Supreme Court action that guts Arizona's clean election system, without even holding a hearing. And birther Orly Taitz is the focus of several jokes: thanks for being there for us, Orly!
Jason Leopold exposes human medical experiments on detainees. Leopold is a regular contributor to the PBC Show, and an editor at Truthout.org. His chilling report is based on a study just released by Physicians for Human Rights. The medical experiments were linked to the legal memos from Yoo and Bybee trying to re-define torture and game the Geneva conventions. The experiments on early captive Abu Zubayda (2002) predated the legal memos, and they tested sleep deprivation and waterboarding--determining that 11 days of no sleep would be OK, and suggesting that saline solution be used in waterboarding. Kinder, gentler barbaric torture. We also talk about Obama's refusal to investigate--a coverup--even as Bush brags about approving torture.