About 370 years ago, Oliver Cromwell paid my family a visit at our castle in Roscommon County, Ireland. The visit did not go well. Cromwell destroyed the castle and killed a whole bunch of Fallons. This “guest-from-hell” behavior was replicated across Ireland until the fall of Galway in 1652. Cromwell’s Irish legacy consists of “mass evictions, killings and deportation of over 50,000 men, women and children as prisoners of war and indentured servants,” according to Wikipedia.
To many generations of impoverished Irish families suffering and dying under British tyranny, the situation appeared hopeless. Yet from time to time, pockets of Irish patriots would arise, gadflies on the bloated belly of imperial Britain. After nearly three centuries of seemingly futile resistance, their perseverance paid off and secured Ireland’s freedom.
In response to an apparently intractable crisis, the human condition often spawns two opposite reactions: (1) failing even to notice that one is hip-deep in a quagmire – and sinking, or (2) giving up hope and resigning oneself to sinking. For many Americans, our toxic politics and even more toxic environment define a pending calamity that appears hopeless. In discussing this reality with a group of friends in Ames this weekend, it was agreed by even the least optimistic among us that, regardless of how hopeless things may seem, it is still important that we continue to fight and persevere.
With that in mind, it was uplifting to see tens of thousands of Americans gather in Washington, DC this weekend to protest the Keystone pipeline. In the analysis of some experts, stopping the pipeline is key to averting an almost inconceivable climate disaster.
Monday, we talk about this weekend’s climate rally with State Sen. Rob Hogg and Des Moines attorney Channing Dutton. We also talk with LaVon Griffieon about how the recent court ruling on farm tours might negatively affect her farm and other family farmers. We talk with dairy farmer Francis Thicke, who was just appointed to the National Organics Standards Board. And we talk with Dr. John Rachow of Physicians for Social Responsibility about the release of nuclear radiation at the Hanford facility in the state of Washington.
Tuesday, Iowa State University professors Cornelia and Jan Flora discuss their new book, “Rural Communities: Legacy and Change.” Also, Frank Meeink, author of “Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead,” joins us to talk about his new documentary, soon to be made into a play. Also, Steffen Schmidt, a.k.a. Dr. Politics, joins Ed to discuss … politics!
Wednesday, Jeff Abbas with Allamakee County Protectors discusses the latest developments in the threat from frac sand mining in northeast Iowa. We also talk with Jeffrey Weiss of the Catholic Peace Ministry about the CIA’s kill list, drones, and the upcoming Bishop Dingman Peace Award Dinner. Finally, we talk with Ying Sa of Community CPA about tax and accounting issues.
Thursday, State Rep. Dan Kelley joins us for our usual look inside the Iowa Statehouse. And Nakisha Phillips updates us on her journey through pregnancy with the help of a doula and a midwife.
Friday, Corey Luedeman joins us to talk about abusive foreclosure practices. And it’s Heather Ryan with “Ryan’s Rants.
Monday-Friday, join the conversation online from 12:00-1:00 pm on the Fallon Forum website. Call-in at 244-0077 or toll free (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. If you miss a show, video and audio-only podcasts are available later in the day. Thanks!