Podcast/Archive

Marvel’s superhero “Black Panther” finally gets his proper feature-length movie introduction and it’s a rousing, involving adventure. The fact that most of the folks in front of and behind the camera are black makes it all the more compelling. Chawick Boseman plays the king of a mysterious, highly advanced African nation who must rise to the occasion and save his country, and the world, from a rival cousin, played by Michael B. Jordan. The cast is solid, the story has interesting social implications and Ryan Coogler displays a deft hand as director. While it runs a bit too long for its own good, “Black Panther” is a worthy addition that enriches the Marvel Universe.

“Early Man” is the latest stop-motion animated farce from Aardman, the folks behind Wallace and Gromit. It purports to relate the origins of soccer, pitting cavemen against the Bronze Agers. It’s all very silly, but good fun for the little league set.

The final days of Oscar-winning actress Gloria Graham provide the background for the low-key drama “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.” Annette Bening and Jamie Bell star in this story of a May-December romance between Graham and a young and struggling British actor. The story only scratches the surface of Graham’s fascinating life, but the actors it worth a look.

Also opening this week, “Samson” is a faith-based production about the Biblical strongman. “The Scent of Rain & Lightning” is a contemporary Western drama that was an award winner at last year’s Kansas City FilmFest. “The Female Brain” is a comedy about modern romance written and directed by standup comic Whitney Cummings. “Golden Exits” is a drama about a young Australian girl whose arrival upends the lives of folks from two Brooklyn families. Emily Browning and Jason Schwartzman star. “Poop Talk” is a documentary featuring a number of comics telling funny stories about poop.


The last days of Oscar-winning actress Gloria Grahame are the focus of “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.” Graham won fame in the 1940s and 50s for her femme fatale roles in film noir thrillers like “The Big Heat” and “Sudden Fear” and won an Academy Award for “The Bad and the Beautiful.” Annette Bening (“20th Century Women”) plays Grahame in the last days of her life while carrying on an affair with a much younger man, played by Jamie Bell (“King Kong”).


Today’s analysts and commentators describe Britain as being nearly in a state of civil war over Brexit. Will Britain be able to hold it together in these turbulent times, and what will be the impact on British workers? Find out this week on the Heartland Labor Forum. Then: if you’re a woman worker and want a beautiful place to chase away the winter blues, think about applying for the Polk School. We’ll talk about the Regina Polk Women’s Labor Leadership Conference May 16th – May 20th, with labor workshops, wellness, labor history and more!  Thursday at 6:00 PM, re-broadcast Friday, 5:00 a.m.


Derek Warfield of Wolfetones fame (and now the Young Wolfetones) checks in with Mike Murphy about his career and his pending Kansas City visit. Also, music for Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day.

We’ll feature some of Derek’s music, and find out about his upcoming visit to Kansas City on Friday and Weston on Saturday.

Kansas City Irish Center

The Young Wolfetones


This week on CounterSpin: Economic news is presented as facts and figures, but it’s also, maybe most importantly, a story, a narrative. But whether it’s an article about companies using their tax cut savings to give workers bonuses or one about how few of them are actually doing that, corporate media’s economic reporting stays within a certain mindset, in which the propriety of a small set of corporate executives and shareholders deciding how they fancy divvying up the profits of the work of employees is a given. The current US economic system, despite exorbitant health care costs and the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world, despite entrenched and increasing inequality, despite an actually declining life expectancy, is understood to be functioning essentially as it should.

With all eyes on the stock market, we’ll take a questioning look at some economic fundamentals with Richard Wolff, emeritus professor of economics at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and visiting professor at The New School. He’s also founder of Democracy at Work and host of the weekly tv and radio program Economic Update. His most recent book is Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.

Plus Janine Jackson takes a look back at recent press, including commentary on the government shutdown and coverage of the the post-Super Bowl riots.


Transgender, alternate gender, and non-binary gender studies is an incredibly broad and diverse field of study, which sometimes can be overwhelming even to someone who is honestly interested in the subject. And while it can be tempting to lump together anyone who is not cisgender binary as being “transgender,” that broad umbrella term can also hide the incredible depth and breadth that exists within a specific culture. This can be especially troubling when we are trying to learn from an ancient culture which has been subjugated and nearly destroyed by a conquering culture of invaders – such as the Native American two-spirit people.

We are very happy today to have two representatives of Native American two-spirit culture with us in the studio today, Bry Smiley and Reggie Black Elk, who will give us some enlightenment on their people and their culture, and who will talk about a premier event they are holding at the Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, called the Two-Spirit Pow-Wow.

Join us at 1pm Central today on 90.1FM KKFI, streaming on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phones.


Authors Penny Mickelbury and Renee Bess join host Elizabeth Andersen to discuss Penny’s novel Belle City, which is an interracial, intergenerational saga of love, loss and land—and ultimately of family.


Nuclear Posture Review

Not since 1953 when the United States and the Soviet Union exploded thermonuclear bombs has the world been such a powder keg.Last week the Pentagon released its Nuclear Posture Review. It seeks to make use of nuclear weapons more acceptable and plausible. It recommends the spending of $1 trillion to upgrade America’s nuclear arsenal and it appears to end the United State’s commitment to pursue nuclear disarmament.

Last November Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, convened a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the limits of presidential authority to use nuclear weapons. President Trump had been making incendiary comments about North Korea, threatening to totally destroy the country and to unleash fire and fury like the world has never seen.

There are no reliable limits on the presidents power to order use of nuclear weapons. The International Court of Justice declared in 1996 ruled that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is illegal under international law. The United States is not legally bound by the ICJ opinion. Moreover, the United Nations last summer adopted a Treaty On the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It states that the use of nuclear weapons would be against the principles of humanity in the dictates of public conscience. The United States is not legally bound by the new UN treaty either. The United States under President Obama and now Trump has vowed to increase the size of Americas nuclear arsenal.The United States will not agree to simply declare that it is against the first use nuclear weapons.

Guest ” Attorney John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyers Committee for Nuclear Policy. John Burroughs represents LCNP and IALANA in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review proceedings, the United Nations, and other international forums. Dr. Burroughs is contributor, Unspeakable suffering ” the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons (2013) (available here); contributor, Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Weapon Modernization Around the World (2012) (available here); co-editor and contributor, Nuclear Disorder or Cooperative Security? U.S. Weapons of Terror, the Global Proliferation Crisis, and Paths to Peace (2007) (available here); co-editor and contributor, Rule of Power or Rule of Law? An Assessment of U.S. Policies and Actions Regarding Security-Related Treaties (2003); and author of The Legality of Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons: A Guide to the Historic Opinion of the International Court of Justice (1998). He has additionally published articles and op-eds in journals and newspapers including the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the World Policy Journal, and Newsday. Dr. Burroughs has taught international law as an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School, Newark. He has a J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. from Harvard University.

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Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Five Foundation
Holy Land Five 3

In July 2004 federal agents raided the homes of five Palestinian-American families, arresting the five dads. The first trial of the Holy Land Foundation Five ended in a hung jury. The second, marked by highly questionable procedures, resulted in very lengthy sentences for supporting terrorism by donating to charities with whom the US government itself and several respected international agencies work.

Capitalizing on post 911 Islamaphobic hysteria, the US government used secret evidence and conflated charity with terrorism to convict the five men of providing material support for terrorism.

The destruction of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in the United States, constitutes one of the great judicial injustices in the so called war on terror
of which there have been many. The US government, relying on the testimony of anonymous Israeli security experts, convicted the five men of the crime of providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians suffering under an illegal and punishing occupation.

This case is one of several repressive post 911 US prosecutions that have been brought with the assistance of Israeli security police, targeting US-based Palestinian Muslim activists.

Guest ” Miko Peled is an Israeli writer and activist living in the US. He was born and raised in Jerusalem. His father was the late Israeli General Matti Peled. Driven by a personal family tragedy to explore Palestine, its people and their narrative. He has written a book about his journey from the sphere of the privileged Israeli to that of the oppressed Palestinians. Peled speaks nationally and internationally on the issue of Palestine. He supports the creation of a single democratic state in all of Palestine, and a firm supporter of BDS. Author of Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Five Foundation and The Generals Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.


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