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Walking-to-Work Stories: Heartwarming or Harmful? | On the Media | WNYC Studios
We begin this week's transit-oriented theme show with a story of Good Samaritans and gratitude. Specifically, the beloved, "heartwarming" media trope of the person who walks miles and miles and miles to work — usually out of heartbreaking necessity — and is rewarded for their perseverance with a car, or a bike, or at least an appearance on the 5 o'clock news. Uplifting as these tales may sometimes be, they are also "terrible," as Streetsblog national reporter Angie Schmitt explained to Brooke.
story  race  class  car  sociology  inequalities  NPR  Podcast  radio  Media 
21 days ago by oripsolob
This American Life: The Unhappy Deciders
Zoe Chace
Preserving the integrity of the process on the Senate Judiciary Committee is a much less romantic story than the one about two survivors of sexual assault changing a senator's mind at the last second. That's what happened, though.

And finally, that day, the world sees Jeff Flake find a third way. It's something he's been looking for for a long time on a lot of issues-- a way to vote with his Republican colleagues, but stand for certain principles with the Democrats. It's the weirdest niche. But he's a weirdo right now-- a ghost Republican. He doesn't really have a constituency he's speaking for, being anti-Trump but pro his policies.

He's retiring from the Senate in a few months. As he says, he could never have done something like this if he were still running for office. There's no value to reaching across the aisle, he says. There's no currency for that anymore. If you do that, you'll lose. So there is not much crossing over to the other side ever, by anybody-- which is maybe why, when you do cross over, this is what happens.

How you doing, Senator?

Jeff Flake
Doing well. How are you?

Good for you, man.

Jeff Flake

God bless you.

Jeff Flake
Appreciate it.

Zoe Chace
This is the consequence-- New York City loves Senator Jeff Flake.
politics  NPR  Podcast  election 
27 days ago by oripsolob
About Those Self-Evident Truths | On the Media | WNYC Studios
As Americans battle for control of the future of the United States, it seems that we're always going back to founding documents and core principles: relying on them and reinterpreting them, in what seems to be an increasingly arduous effort to govern ourselves. It all starts to beg an uncomfortable question: in the end, can we govern ourselves? John Adams didn’t think so. He said that all political systems, whether monarchy, democracy, aristocracy, were equally prey to the brutish nature of mankind.

Harvard historian Jill Lepore recently released a sweeping history of the American experiment called These Truths: A History of the United States. Brooke speaks with Lepore about this country's history and the history of the contested — and supposedly self-evident — truths under-girding our shaky democracy.
history  constitution  NPR 
4 weeks ago by oripsolob
How Trump's 'War' On The 'Deep State' Is Leading To The Dismantling Of Government : NPR
GROSS: One of the new hires in the Trump administration is John Bolton. He is the new national security adviser. You're probably familiar with him from the Iraq War days.

OSNOS: Right. Exactly. John Bolton was one of the advocates for the invasion of Iraq. He was a senior arms control expert at the State Department and has been sort of in Washington ever since - you know, not in especially prominent roles, but he's well-known, particularly to Republicans, in that administration.

GROSS: One of the people you spoke to for your New Yorker piece is Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Colin Powell's chief of staff during the George W. Bush administration, and - you know, during the lead-up to the war in Iraq and during the war in Iraq. And he told you he's afraid that the Trump administration is building a case for attacking Iran just as the Bush administration built a case for invading Iraq under the false charges that Iraq had functioning weapons of mass destruction. Do you share his concern about Iran?

OSNOS: Well, I do see a pattern emerging - that the administration is making an increasingly strident case that Iran as a national security threat to the United States, as they put it, is something that we cannot afford to wait to resolve. And that is language that is very similar to what we heard in 2002 and 2003. You know, the key message in the run-up to the war in Iraq was that this was a war of necessity. We didn't have a choice was what we were told because if we didn't do it - that Iraq was developing the chemical, biological and perhaps nuclear weapons that would be a risk to the U.S.

And Lawrence Wilkerson was, as he readily described, one of the people who was responsible for making that case. He helped write the speech that Colin Powell gave to the U.N. Security Council in which he argued for support of the invasion of Iraq. And what Wilkerson says today is that he sees very much, as he put it, the same playbook, and that worries him. And I think there's some real truth to that. But as he put it, you know, some of the same people are now in place, and John Bolton is at the center of his argument.

MADMAN THEORY: Melvin Laird in 1969 was Richard Nixon's secretary of defense. And Nixon had this idea which he called the madman theory - the idea that if he made the Soviet Union think that he was crazy - that he was unhinged - that they might capitulate to American interests. And so he wanted to do things that were especially aggressive. And in 1969, he ordered Melvin Laird to put the U.S. nuclear forces on high alert, meaning that they would send out planes and let it be known to the Soviet Union that they were essentially, potentially, preparing to use the nuclear arsenal.
politics  history  War  iraq  NPR 
may 2018 by oripsolob
The Myth of Meritocracy | On The Media | WNYC Studios
Martin Luther King, 1968, National Cathedral speech / relates to The Color of Law and westward expansion and federal subsidies

"It's all right to tell a a man to 'lift himself by his own bootstraps', but it is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man, that he ought to 'lift himself by his own bootstraps'..."

References study of differences in resume callbacks based on (black vs white) names

Rich are more likely to say that "hard work" matters more.
radio  NPR  inequalities  Podcast  sociology  race  class  mythology  prisons  Money  story 
may 2018 by oripsolob
This Is America | On The Media | WNYC Studios
Today, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty. The problem has been addressed countless times since the nation’s founding, but it persists, and for the poorest among us, it gets worse. America has not been able to find its way to a sustainable solution, because most of its citizens see the problem of poverty from a distance, through a distorted lens. So in 2016, we presented "Busted: America's Poverty Myths," a series exploring how our understanding of poverty is shaped not by facts, but by private presumptions, media narratives, and the tales of the American Dream. This week we're revisiting part of that series.

1. Matthew Desmond [@just_shelter], author of on the myriad factors that perpetuate wealth inequality and Jack Frech [@FrechJack], former Athens County Ohio Welfare Director, on how the media's short attention span for covering inequality stymies our discourse around poverty. Listen.

2. Jill Lepore, historian and staff writer for the New Yorker, on the long history of America's beloved "rags to riches" narrative and Natasha Boyer, a Ohio woman whose eviction was initially prevented thanks to a generous surprise from strangers, on the reality of living in poverty and the limitations of "random acts of kindness." Listen.

3. Brooke considers the myth of meritocracy and how it obscures the reality: that one's economic success is more due to luck than motivation. Listen.
class  race  inequalities  Podcast  NPR  sociology  mythology  history 
may 2018 by oripsolob
The United States of Amnesia - On The Media | WNYC Studios
Fifteen years since the start of the Iraq War, we live in what many see as a fresh hell: the erosion of institutions and standards at the highest levels. But political science professor Corey Robin argues that the Trump era is merely an extension of the same reflex that gave us the Iraq War — and much that preceded it. Robin recently wrote a piece for Harper's Magazine about the American tendency to re-imagine the past. He and Brooke discuss our collective failure to draw connections between Trump and what came before, and how it forms part of a longer pattern of forgetting in American culture.

This segment is from our March 30, 2018 program, We, the Liberators.

"Whatever you're currently confronting is something we've never seen before..."

"The very person who ten years ago you would have been reviling in exactly the same terms, suddenly becomes anodyne, human, a man you'd want to hug..."

FDR, Lincoln: These were "realignment presidents". Presidents who don't just run against a candidate; they run against a whole nexus or web of institutions

When liberals make it personal (about Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Trump), they are signaling to everybody, "just get this guy out" and "everything will go back to normal."

Missed opportunities.
Podcast  history  NPR  War  iraq  politics  Books 
april 2018 by oripsolob
How Neoconservatism Led the US Into Iraq - On The Media | WNYC Studios
If you ask Democrats why the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, many will say that President George W. Bush cynically lied about weapons of mass destruction. Republicans — as we heard during the 2016 presidential debates — will say that President Bush meant well, but had been led astray by faulty intelligence.

Both of these narratives persist — and both distort the past, according to New York Times columnist Max Fisher. Fisher argues that the invasion was instead simply the natural unfolding of the neoconservative worldview. He and Brooke unpack the hubris behind this worldview and examine how it grew from an esoteric, academic ideology into a force that still shapes American policies and minds today.

Mentions Manifest Destiny, Vietnam War, Pentagon Papers

iraq  War  mythology  history  NPR  Podcast 
april 2018 by oripsolob
NPR Illinois
Photo by Spiro Bolos
NPR  photo 
january 2018 by oripsolob
Three Miles | This American Life
There’s a program that brings together kids from two schools. One school is public and in the country’s poorest congressional district. The other is private and costs $43,000/year. They are three miles apart. The hope is that kids connect, but some of the public school kids just can’t get over the divide. We hear what happens when you get to see the other side and it looks a lot better.
education  inequalities  Podcast  mcp  NPR  sociology  Money  class 
january 2018 by oripsolob
The Traffic Stop
On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was pulled over by Officer Jeronimo Yanez for a broken brake light. 74 seconds later, Yanez fired seven shots. Winner of the TC/RHDF 2017 Best Documentary: Gold Award.

How did a routine traffic stop turn fatal in less than two minutes? We break down what happened that night, second by second.
radio  NPR  race  inequalities  constitution  ferguson 
november 2017 by oripsolob
Without Native Americans, Would We Have Chicago As We Know It?
Curious City: In this special Curious City presentation, we explore how Native Americans used trade, intermarriage, and their knowledge of the region’s geography to help lay the foundation for the city of Chicago. And we’ll consider an even bigger question: Would Chicago exist as we know it today — as a key Midwestern metropolis — without the Native Americans (Potawatomi, mostly).
NPR  radio  chicago  history 
november 2017 by oripsolob
Lifestyles of the Rich and Hidden - On The Media - WNYC
A year and a half after the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers have again thrown back the curtain on the vast world of wealth that exists in offshore tax havens. But even after the two largest data leaks in history, those in the know say that we have still barely glimpsed the extent of this ecosystem. And according to Brooke Harrington, Professor of Economic Sociology at Copenhagen Business School and author of Capital Without Borders, if we really want to understand the situation, we need to look beyond the wealthy themselves and toward the industry devoted to keeping them rich and hidden. Bob talks to Harrington about the profession of "wealth management," why it's a threat to democracy and what can be done.
NPR  radio  Podcast  inequalities  sociology  class  Money 
november 2017 by oripsolob
Swedish Cowboys & Syrian Refugees - On The Media - WNYC
In the middle of nowhere southern Sweden, there’s a popular Wild West theme park called High Chaparral, where Scandinavian tourists relive the action of the old American cowboy films. For over a year, the park served another function: a refugee camp for some 500 of the 163,000 migrants – many from Syria – who applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015.

That Syrians would find refuge here actually jibes with High Chaparral’s interpretation of the Old West, which emphasizes the new life that the frontier offered to beleaguered pioneers, and the community that was required to survive there. Americans tend to ignore this history, instead lionizing the gritty traits of the cowboy, the cultural basis for our obsession with rugged individualism.

OTM producer Micah Loewinger traveled to High Chaparral last summer, where he met Abood Alghzzawi, a Syrian asylum-seeker, who embarked on an incredible journey to the Wild West of Sweden. This piece explores how politicians seized the cowboy image to further their agendas, and how questioning the narrative of the Old West might influence immigration policy.
photos  NPR  radio  Podcast  race  history  west  mythology 
november 2017 by oripsolob
I Can't Breathe - On The Media - WNYC
"Ultimately it's a story about segregation."

Would Eric Garner be alive today if those condominiums had not been built?
In a lot of these communities, Broken Window Theory is just another version of Jim Crow -- keeping black people out of white neighborhoods.
race  inequalities  NPR  Podcast  radio  sociology  history  ferguson 
october 2017 by oripsolob
Be The Change : NPR
A couple tries to break the norm of raising their child in a gendered manner.
NPR  radio  Podcast  sociology  gender  inequalities 
october 2017 by oripsolob
Private Geography | This American Life
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. So is This American Life producer Susan Burton. During Devos’s nomination hearings, critics accused her of never having set foot in a public school. But it turns out that years ago she did—as a volunteer mentor. Susan returned to Grand Rapids to find out what DeVos's experience in a public school in her hometown can tell us about her vision for education in this country. (29 minutes)
NPR  education  Podcast 
september 2017 by oripsolob
What happened to Chicago's Japanese neighborhood?
The reason Chicago's Japanese neighborhood disappeared is directly tied to a Chicago immigrant experience like no other. Japanese-Americans didn’t end up in Chicago of their own accord: The U.S. government forcibly resettled 20,000 of them to the city from World War II incarceration camps. And, as part of that effort, the government pressured them to shed their Japanese identities and assimilate into white society.

In this special Curious City presentation, we trace the history of Chicago's Japanese-American community, from World War II to today.
history  race  WWII  NPR  Podcast  inequalities  Map 
august 2017 by oripsolob
A 'Forgotten History' Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America : NPR
Rothstein's new book, The Color of Law, examines the local, state and federal housing policies that mandated segregation. He notes that the Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934, furthered the segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods — a policy known as "redlining." At the same time, the FHA was subsidizing builders who were mass-producing entire subdivisions for whites — with the requirement that none of the homes be sold to African-Americans.
history  housing  race  inequalities  sociology  NPR 
august 2017 by oripsolob
Shrinking Families And America's Future
Our kids are our future, so what happens when we start having fewer of them? Dowell Myers (demographer) and Fariborz Ghadar explain. Immigration rates (also on the decline). Not enough people to replace the Baby Boomers for capitalism and tax base. "We need to start treating other people's children as a precious asset".
sociology  NPR  radio  Podcast  children  education  Health 
july 2017 by oripsolob
Don't Be Fooled: 'Generation Wealth' Is More About Wanting Than Having : NPR
Greenfield says, now, decades after she started taking these pictures, projecting wealth is more important than ever.

"I think the backdrop of these 25 years is that we've never had more inequality and we've never had less social mobility," she says. "So, in a way, fictitious social mobility — bling and presentation — has replaced real social mobility ... because it's all you can get."

Greenfield believes there's been a shift in values — from "hard work, and thrift, and frugality and modesty" to "bling and showing off and narcissism."

Materialism, she says, is the new spirituality.
money  class  inequalities  sociology  radio  npr 
may 2017 by oripsolob
How Talking About Trump Makes Him Normal In Your Brain - On The Media - WNYC
According to George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist and author of Don’t Think Of An Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, the very fundamentals of journalism should be redefined in order to stave off normalizing Trump.
brain  radio  politics  election  psychology  npr  fb  media 
december 2016 by oripsolob
Creamed, Canned And Frozen: How The Great Depression Revamped U.S. Diets : The Salt : NPR
Ziegelman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Depression was one of the "most important food moments" in U.S. history. Coe agrees: "The Great Depression was a time when Americans had food front and foremost in their minds and were worrying about it every day."

Cheap, nutritious and filling food was prioritized — often at the expense of taste.
food  history  money  npr 
august 2016 by oripsolob
Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids At Perceived — But Unreal — Risk? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
I guess what I would like people to start thinking about is how this new legal standard of paranoid parenting enshrines a kind of class privilege. Besides the fact that it is irrational, the idea that you must watch your child every single second until they turn 18 is deeply classist. It's not something you can even aim for unless you have a whole lot of money, and probably not a lot of children. For parents who are working, who have more than one child, who need to get something else done during the day — to say nothing of single parents — that model of parenting is absurd.

The relevant "danger" should be legally defined in terms of actual, immediate, demonstrable risk, rather than left up to the unexamined intuitions of bystanders, social workers, police officers or other individuals who may think something must be dangerous when it is actually quite safe. For example, eight times more children are killed in parking lots than in parked cars. See: "Availability heuristic" and "self-efficacy"
children  sociology  inequalities  class  npr  gender  psychology 
august 2016 by oripsolob
The Civil Rights Problem In U.S. Schools: 10 New Numbers | WBEZ
In schools with high black and Latino enrollment, 10 percent of teachers were in their first year, compared to 5 percent in largely white schools.
education  sociology  inequalities  race  npr  fb 
june 2016 by oripsolob
In Praise of Forgetting
There is also too much remembering, and in the early 21st century, when people throughout the world are, in the words of the historian Tzvetan Todorov, “obsessed by a new cult, that of memory”...

David Rieff: "The memorializing of collective historical memory has become one of humanity's highest moral obligations." And that he says, is a mistake. Because collective historical memory has very little to do with history.

Some suggest that memory's failure to provide exact replicas of experience may actually be wired in, that as Brian Boyd wrote "our tendency to extract, and recombine, and reassemble, allows us to simulate, or imagine, or pre-experience events, better enabling us to cope for the future." Because those who too *precisely* remember the past, may not be condemned to repeat it, but they'll be less prepared for what's coming around the bend....
history  npr  podcast  mythology 
may 2016 by oripsolob
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