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Info on Podcast #49

Sibel Edmonds ungagged!, part 2 of 3. As the corporate media continues to ignore the important information about illegal Turkish influence on our government, Edmonds details the sequence of events that led to the unprecedented gag orders issued to her and enforced by Judge Reggie Walton, and the incredible retroactive gag order on Congress, which also classified her date of birth! She reveals that Rep. Henry Waxman backed off his promise to permit Edmonds to testify under oath, informing his staff just after he met with Speaker Pelosi in March, 2007. She reacts to the comments of retired FBI manager John Cole (from Podcast #45) confirming that top FBI management knew Edmonds was telling the truth as they moved to gag her. Part 3 will be released next week, providing a tour of Turkish interests and influence in the US.

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I talked to Van Jones today

So I went to my contact database to look up Van Jones’ phone number. Turns out we last spoke one year ago today. I left a message on his cell, and, as is common, he returned the call before he heard my message.

I invited him to do an interview, and he politely declined for now. He says he wants to continue to avoid being a distraction to the administration. I told him I was distressed by the way he left the White House and that the administration didn’t fight Glenn Beck and the other demagogues (like Americans for Prosperity) who attacked him. He said he appreciated the sentiment, and the support expressed by others, but rejected my characterization, inferring that it was his idea to leave.

I told him that I respect him greatly, and his vision that ties social justice to the evolving green economy. He thanked me, and said that very soon the VP will be announcing initiatives that “have those fingerprints all over them.”

We agreed to touch base in a couple of months, and he said that when he re-enters the public sphere that we will be hearing from him, “and you’ll get tired of me”. I gently rejected his characterization.

Van Jones is an inspiring leader, and his influence will continue to be felt.

Posted on Categories Rap Report

Time to Ditch the Nazi Porn!

“If you want to see jackbooted Nazis, watch American movies,” filmmaker Quentin Tarantino conceded recently to NPR’s Teri Gross during a discussion of his new film, “Inglourious Basterds.” Tarantino is right. It is three-quarters of a century since Germany surrendered to the Allies, and Americans still seems unwilling or unable to pass the calcified stones of what you might call “Nazi Porn” out of our cultural maw.

“Inglourious Basterd’s” is the latest in a seemingly endless stream of depictions fascistic; the propensity, at the seeming drop of a clacker, to put out more swastika’s, the bigger, blacker and redder, the better. Check out Tom Cruise’s recent Nazi epic, “Valkerie” Worse yet, tune into the Nazi-related fare on the History Channel. You can spend an entire week watching shows like “Nazi Prophecies,” “Nazi America, a Secret History,” “The Nazi Expedition,” “Nazi Spies in America,” “Nazi UFO’s,” “Hitler’s Britain,” “Hitler, Tyrant of Terror,” “Nazi Guerillas,” “Tracking Nazi Gold,” “The Rise of the Nazi Occult,” “American Spies Inside Nazi Germany,” “Saddam and the Third Reich,” ad – truly -nauseum. It really is enough to make you hurl, or at least insist that the History Channel properly identify itself as “The Nazi Network.”

Nor is this endless parade of Germanalia just a middlebrow activity. Recall earlier this year when the haut-literary world went gaga over the publication of Jonathon Littell’s “The Kindly Ones,” a perverse, Zagat’s for the “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” To whatever banal hell Hitler, Himmler, Goering, Goebbels, Heydrich, and Eichmann are consigned, we can now send two fictional Nazi Everymen, Littell’s malign Maximilien
Aue and Quentin Tarantino’s sleek Colonel Hans “The Jew Hunter” Landa. When it is made into a film, as it inevitably will be, “The Kindly Ones” will spend as much time as does “Inglourious Basterds” focusing lovingly on the ephemera of fascism; the crisply ironed black shirts, the crook’d cross armband, the deaths-head and SS lightening bolts. The popular appeal of this fetishistic proclivity towards Nazi Porn is a point unwittingly underscored in the New York Times review of Inglourious Basterds, in which Manohla Dargis waxes poetic about the film’s “gorgeously saturated colors, one velvety red in particular.” You can bet your totenkopf in which flag this particular red resides.

What I would really like to know is why these accursed symbols are still so damned arousing today? For Tarantino it is a weird and unconvincingly simpleminded alignment between the genocide of the American Indian tribes and the genocide of the European branches of the Tribes of Israel. But schoolboy rhetoric aside, what is the attraction? Is it some sort of infantile infatuation with the bogeyman? A Goth fashion statement? Or is it the dark thrill of surrendering to a leather-jacketed supermen in hobnailed boots trampling across your night-time dreamscapes?

I can tell you one thing, Nazis, dead or alive, never troubled my dad’s dreams. To him the subject conjured up images of pathetic, shell-shocked boy-soldiers passively herded onto the troop transports in Tangier, Casablanca, Messina and Naples. These were the lucky ones on their way to POW camps in the blessed USA. There was a different fate for the haughty Waffen SS fanatics, who were often hauled behind burned-out farmhouses in Italy and put out of their wretched misery. Dad would be slightly amused, and a little bit sickened at the ongoing fascination with the accoutrements, no matter how glittery, of such a pathetic bunch of historical losers.

In 1965, two decade after the war’s end, we sat in temple, listening to Rabbi A.J. Feldman, the leader of Beth Israel, Hartford’s largest Reformed Jewish synagogue, give a sermon that shocked many of his congregants. Feldman, with the canny timing of the politician he was, understood that it was time for the horrors of the past be interred … in a fashion. “Forgive, but don’t forget,” Feldman proposed, and while Dad could never bring himself to buy a German car, he was inclined to applaud Rabbi Feldman’s missive. He, like Feldman, had grown to understand that the deep, dark secret of the Nazi nation was that it was made up of people not very different from ourselves.

It seems to me that it is past time for a moratorium on all things Nazi. Take the malign stuff from that Dark Age and stuff it in the back of the drawer marked “Enough.” Turn off “Valkerie.” Forego Hitler Night on the History Channel. Ignore the latest deconstruction of the films of Leni Reifenstahl in the New York Review of Books. While we’re at it, why don’t we also take up a collection to send Quentin Tarantino and “Inglourious Basterds” back to eighth grade to learn how to spell, if not how to read and interpret history. And if you want to talk about George Santayana’s chestnut about remembering the past or repeating it; given the exuberant gravitational pull of the symbols of evils past, we are likely condemned to repeat performances whether we remember or not.

I will concede Santayana’s point, but with a caveat. Why not simply try to take the swastika and all the accompanying trappings of evil, and deprive them of the light of day. We might be amazed at how quickly the luster fades and with it, any perverse intrinsic power. Consign Nazi Porn to the historical dustbin where it deserves to be. A tip of the hat to Rabbi Feldman, but maybe it’s finally time to forget and not forgive.

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Info on Podcast #48

Two interesting authors:  Jerome Tucille and Lawren Farber.  Tuccille’s 26th book is “Gallo Be Thy Name: The Inside Story of How One Family Rose to Dominate the US Wine Market”.  As Tucille recounts the sometimes sordid history of the Gallo empire built by brothers Ernest and Julio, PBC confesses that Boone’s Farm was his gateway to a lifetime of wine consumption and that Julio was a regular PBC listener.  Farber is a Silicon Valley communications maven who also teaches college English, and his first novel has just been published, “Portage”.  Set in Akron, Farber’s hometown, “Portage” weaves the native American history of the region into a murder mystery.  Farber also reads from his forthcoming volume of poetry, In Stereo and Monaural.  Get the books and more info at

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Info on Podcast #47

One on one with Ravi Batra.  Professor Batra of SMU is the controversial economist who accurately predicted the fall of the Shah, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the 2008 real estate bubble.  He explains how his forecasts are based on the “law of social cycles” and predicts the imminent fall of American capitalism, as detailed in his book “The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos”.  Batra offers wide ranging comments on the bailouts for Wall St. and Detroit, takes some cracks at Paul Krugman and other economists, and explains why he is one of the few economists who sees poverty as a scourge and working people as assets, not liabilities.  Listener Jerry Taylor requested this interview, and we feature our first listener call on a podcast.

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Info on podcast #46

In collaboration with, we talk with Truthout reporter Sam Ferguson in Buenos Aires about the war crimes trial of Gen. Rovere.  Rovere was a high-ranking military leader during the 1970’s, and was indicted, then pardoned in the 1980’s.  In 2007  the pardon was revoked, and he is on trial for the “disappearing” of hundreds of citizens of Argentina.  Sam expands on the text report to give context on the legal and political issues, and we compare this effort at accountability with potential future trials over war crimes here in the US.  Find the story at

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Podcast #45

Confirmation of the credibility of Sibel Edmonds and her charges. In this program, former FBI counterintelligence specialist and manager John M. Cole gives strong support to the charges that Sibel outlined in our Podcast #40 and in the recent article in the American Conservative. Cole cites two extremely high level sources at FBI who confirmed to him that Sibel’s charges are true, and that the FBI was deeply concerned that she might go public.

He says that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft had an unusually close relationship with FBI Director Robert Mueller, and explains the pattern that Cole, Edmonds, and other FBI employees got when they tried to report wrongdoing. John Cole has a book due out in November, While America Sleeps. Cole talks more about his issues and other matters in an upcoming Boiling Frogs interview.


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Info on Podcast #44

This one really rocks! Writers Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor talk with PBC about the punk rock scene in San Francisco in the 1970-80’s. The no-holds-barred conversation includes explicit language, as do some of the songs you will hear. Boulware and Tudor’s new book is called Gimme Something Better: The Profound, Progressive, and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk from Dead Kennedys to Green Day. We talk about the Sex Pistols, Ramones, Clash, Mutants, Flipper, DK’s, early Green Day and many many more plus an odd cameo from jazz sax giant Stan Getz. Enjoy a break from politics and war, and share this with your punk-loving pals. has a free playlist of SF punk and lots more that did not fit into the book.