Trump’s racist tweets, Limbaugh’s racist remarks

Dear Friends,

Thank you for tuning in to our weekly broadcast. Progressive voices on the public airwaves are, alas, rare, and independent media isn’t free. Our annual budget is probably less than what Rush Limbaugh spends on coffee in a year. So …

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Rush Limbaugh

Small businesses and listeners like you are what make this alternative possible. Help us be sustainable. Become a monthly donor, or if that’s not possible, make a one-time donation.

Of course, if you own a small business that’s doing good in the world, we’d love to help you grow that business. Write to ed@fallonforum.com to discuss possibilities for advertising and underwriting on our network. We also help promote events and campaigns.

And remember, friends don’t let friends listen to Rush Limbaugh. To speak bluntly, Limbaugh is toxic mind poison. Best to keep that stuff out of your head. Here are just a few of the racist remarks Limbaugh has made in his long tenure as a talk-show host:

— “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

— “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

— “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”

— “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

— “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

— “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back (to an African American female caller).”

Jeffrey Weiss

The only voice spewing racism on a louder platform than Limbaugh is President Donald Trump.

On this week’s Fallon Forum Jeffrey Weiss and I talk truth to power and discuss topics you’ll never hear on mainstream radio. We talk about the beating of war drums in the Persian Gulf, and why President Trump’s interest in armed conflict with Iran may be about more than just oil.

We discuss Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s $50 million lawsuit against Google after the company that controls 88% of all Internet inquiries mysteriously pulled the plug on Gabbard’s advertising account when searches for her name skyrocketed during the first Democratic debate.

We analyze Trump’s barrage of racist tweets attacking Rep. Elijah Cummings and “rat-infested” Baltimore, Maryland.

Finally, as the debate among Democratic presidential contenders heats up, we pan the range of health care systems in countries around the world and ask which models offer the most relevance to the US as we (inevitably) transition off our failed insurance-based healthcare system.

You can hear the Fallon Forum live every Monday, 11:00-12:00 noon CT, on La Reina 1260 AM and 96.5 FM, online, and live-streamed on the Fallon Forum Facebook page. The program is available later as a podcast, and also rebroadcasts on several community-owned stations. Thanks!

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March Against Detaining Asylum-seeking Families

Dear Friends,

We’ve seen widespread public outrage as more and more light is shed on conditions at US detention centers. Over 53,000 men, women and children are currently “housed” (i.e., imprisoned) at one of 230 centers. Meanwhile this past week, President Trump threatened the biggest-ever sweep of ICE raids, disrupting millions of lives and even forcing the cancellation of a major concert in Idaho. The raids didn’t transpire, but could ICE simply be biding its time?

Ed Fallon hosts Pascha Morgan, discussing the March Against Detaining Asylum-seeking Families

Ron Yarnell and I discuss this on the first segment of this week’s Forum. We also discuss whether the US is letting in too few immigrants. A question that needs more attention is what can the US do to stabilize Central American countries where people are being driven from their homes.

Four years ago Pastor Debbie Griffin started a new church in downtown Des Moines. It’s not your ordinary church. It was formed as an LGBTQ affirming progressive faith community that proclaims Black Lives Matter with a mission of “doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly together.”

This week, thousands of people from around the US and Canada gather in Des Moines for the General Assembly of Downtown Disciples’ denomination (Christian Church Disciples of Christ). On Wednesday, attendees will close out their national gathering with Rev. William Barber of the Poor Peoples Campaign at a Justice Ministries Rally at the Iowa State Capitol. Debbie and I discuss faith and politics, and how the progressive church is changing the conversation, both locally and nationally.

Pascha Morgan joins us for the third segment of the program to learn about his plans for a 1,200-mile march to “put words like compassion, empathy, and human dignity into action” with regards to the official treatment of and common perceptions about immigrant families. Pascha calls it the March Against Detaining Asylum-seeking Families — or MAD AF. “Love of others can make you MAD AF,” says Pascha.

Finally, last week’s record-setting heat is only going to get worse in the New Climate Era. As Steve Denning writes in a Forbes column on the subject, “While climatology is not yet a precise science, there is increasing evidence that the average global temperature is heading inexorably beyond 2 degrees Celsius and heading towards a threshold of 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit). Such a trajectory would have dire social and economic consequences. In the cautiously ominous words of the World Bank, ‘the limits for human and natural adaptation are likely to be exceeded.’”

If I may interpret the World Bank’s gloss, what they mean by “the limits for human and natural adaptation are likely to be exceeded” is:

Earth will no longer be able to sustain human life! 

Time to mobilize. Now. Before it’s too late.

Ed Fallon

[Thank you for reading this post and for tuning-in to our weekly broadcast. Independent media isn’t free. Our annual budget is probably less than what Rush Limbaugh spends on coffee in a year. Small businesses and listeners like you are who make this Forum possible. Help us be sustainable and become a monthly donor. Or if that’s not possible, make a one-time donation. Of course, if you own a small business that’s ding good in the world, we’d love to help you grow that business. Write to ed@fallonforum.com to discuss possibilities for advertising and underwriting on our network. Thank you!]

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As the Arctic melts …

Dear Friends,

Ed Fallon, Pascha Morgan and Charles Goldman discuss this weekend’s action.

Charles Goldman co-hosts this week’s program with me. On the first segment, Pascha Morgan joins us to discuss Bold Iowa‘s provocative performance art, which involved a gallows (representing the threat of extinction) and large blocks of ice (representing accelerated ice melt in the polar regions).

Bold Iowa’s action demanded that Democratic presidential candidates make human survival their first act as president. The banner above the gallows declared, “As the Arctic melts, the climate noose tightens.”

The action received some enthusiastic support. Yet despite what organizers thought was clear messaging, it also experienced some strong pushback. In addition to this week’s live on-air discussion, I’ll publish a more in-depth blog later this week, responding to criticism of the action and apologizing to people offended by the imagery.

Also on this week’s program, Charles and I look at a few of Earth’s current climate hot spots, specifically New Orleans and the Arctic. We also try to sort out the absurd tweet from President Trump (yeah, another one) that four Democratic Congresswomen of color should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Of course, the fact that all four — Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley — are Americans, three who were born in the US, is lost on a president who operates from his own set of “facts.”

Finally, we try to sort out why conspiracy and paranoia run so deep in American politics. Wish us luck on that one. And thanks for tuning in.

Ed Fallon

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From Hatred to Harmony

[CLICK HERE FOR THE PODCAST]

Frankie Meeink

To say that Frankie Meeink has led an interesting life would be a tremendous understatement. Raised in Philadelphia in a highly dysfunctional family, Frankie found camaraderie and acceptance in a White supremacy gang at age 13. On the July 8 Fallon Forum, we spend the full hour discussing Frankie’s past and his transformation while in prison from hater to healer.

We also get Frankie’s take on the rise of the Alt Right and the proliferation of for-profit prisons. Finally, we discuss the presidential campaign — Frankie shares his concern that President Trump has a secret weapon at his disposal that could make it even more challenging for the eventual Democratic nominee to unseat him.

— Ed Fallon

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Interdependence Day

Dear Friends,

Five years ago this week, the Great March for Climate Action enjoyed a day off in Culbertson, Nebraska. This excerpt from my book, Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim, explains the importance of remembering our “interdependence” even as we celebrate our “independence.”

We march in the Independence Day parade in Culbertson, Nebraska.

Culbertson, a town of 600, swells to several thousand people for its annual Independence Day celebration. We’re thrilled to have been invited to join the parade. Some of us play instruments and sing while others carry signs and a banner. Folks along the parade route seem genuinely receptive, or at least politely amused, and we connect with our biggest audience since Los Angeles.

After the parade, I immerse myself in Culbertson’s holiday fun. I watch the horseshoe competition for a bit, then stumble on a luncheon to raise funds for the new library. I drop $10 for a modest meal and grab a seat at one of the tables, striking up a conversation with a woman who introduces herself as Corky Krizek. She and her family live in McCook and they saw us in the parade. Corky’s got the usual questions about shoes and weather, then asks “Have you lost much weight?”

“Yeah, dropping 24 pounds in the first two months was one of the biggest surprises,” I tell her. “I rip through calories like a twister through a cornfield, and I’m craving meat like there’s only one pig and one cow left on the entire planet.”

“Well, when you get to McCook tomorrow, you’ll be only a few blocks from our place. Stop by and I’ll make you a big steak dinner.”

Massage conga line with marchers and, yeah, Nebraska state coordinator Anna Wishart’s sweet dog.

I thank Corky, then wander around for another couple hours, reveling in the nostalgia of all that’s good and wholesome about America: family, food, fun, and a robust love of land and country. I think about the myriad ways in which everyone here, each of these several thousand people, need each other, how their lives are woven together in so many essential ways. July 4 is not so much a celebration of America’s independence as it is Americans’ interdependence.

Perhaps that little girl in the red dress over there, the one darting around the playground with her friends, will only overcome her learning disability with the after-school reading program at the new library.

Perhaps that old farmer I saw tossing ringer after ringer at the horse-shoe contest had an accident last fall and was only able to get his crops in with the help of his neighbors.

Perhaps the Climate March wouldn’t have even made it out of California without the kindness and support of hundreds of people. Yeah, I’m certain of that.

Sure, Americans should celebrate winning our independence from England, even though things probably would have turned out about the same whether we’d fought a war or followed the more diplomatic path of our Canadian neighbors. Sure, we should celebrate the fact that, over the course of 238 years, no foreign power has come close to invading our country and subjugating our people.

But meanwhile, we’ve bought the notion that independence means being able to do whatever we want, whenever we want, without anybody’s help. The percentage of Americans who now live by themselves has swelled from five percent in the 1920s to 27 percent today. That’s not independence. That’s isolation. That’s the face of loneliness — and though it may be hard to measure, those who study these sorts of things claim loneliness has increased dramatically over the past twenty years.

On July 4, we celebrate our independence from foreign powers. The rest of the year, we celebrate our independence from each other. Meanwhile, we’ve failed to notice that America has succumbed to a gradual invasion, a more insidious subjugation. Through the clever manipulation of laws by greedy men (yeah, again, they’re mostly men) and our own complacency, national chains and big corporations now dominate our economy.  It’s increasingly difficult, almost impossible in some professions, for hard-working men and women to harness their talent, energy, and passion to realize the American dream and earn a living as a farmer, business owner, or entrepreneur not beholden to some distant corporate overlord.

While we cheer the parade vehicles made in Japan, wave our tiny flags made in China, and catch little pieces of candy made in Mexico, the wealthy and powerful quietly consolidate their control over our lives. They do this in large part through buying off America’s political leadership, both Democratic and Republican, and solidifying their control of our lives through manipulative advertising. We fail to notice that this unholy alliance of corporate and governmental power has eviscerated anti-trust laws, gutted protections against the formation of monopolies, allowed foreign corporations to buy our farmland, and enacted trade treaties that ship our jobs and factories overseas. When the powerful interests that benefit from these laws run aground because of their own greed and stupidity, our politicians simply provide taxpayer-financed bailouts to banks, car manufacturers, and other industry giants deemed “too big to fail.”

The way out of this loss of independence is through recognizing, celebrating, and building upon our essential interdependence. Buying our food from farmers we know and trust. Supporting businesses owned by people who live and work in our town. Using cash instead of credit cards, since the small business owner in the middle gets dinged badly by the credit card company. Doing more with barter.

The long road that led us from America’s former independence to our current dependence — and the difficult path out of dependence through interdependence — is our only hope if we are to win both the race against climate change and the struggle to regain our democracy.

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