Podcast/Archive

If there is a litmus test for the new Star Wars entry “Solo,” it lies in one’s perception of actor Alden Ehrenreich who takes on the role of the young Han Solo, once embodied by the one-and-only Harrison Ford. Can this young upstart capture the swagger, arrogance and sense of humor that Ford brought to the part? For my money, I say, “Yes.”

Directed -at least in part- by Oscar-winner Ron Howard, “Solo” is a worthy entry in the “Star Wars” canon, a handsomely produced spectacle and involving origin story that finally reveals how the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. We also discover how Han befriended Chewbacca, how he won his ship from Lando Calrissian, played by the charismatic Donald Glover. We’re introduced to his first love, played by Emilia Clarke from “Game of Thrones,” and the leader of a roguish band of thieves, played by Woody Harrelson.

While “Solo” isn’t in the class of the original classic “Star Wars” trilogy, it’s more involving and a lot more fun than the other prequels. As Han once said, “You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There aren’t enough scoundrels in your life.”

From the other end of the cinematic universe comes “Little Pink House,” a modestly budgeted social drama featuring a strong lead performance from Catherine Keener. She plays Susette Kelo, a woman who took on the government of New London, Connecticut in an eminent domain case. The city wanted to turn her property over to drug maker Pfizer to make way for a luxury office park. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

While it plays a bit like “Erin Brokovich-lite,” “Little Pink House” is an agreeable and informative look at an important issue that probably deserves a good deal more attention.


Susan and Russ have two very different takes on “Disobedience,” starring Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola. The director is Sebastian Lielio, whose Chilean film “A Fantastic Woman” won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this year. Weisz plays a worldly photographer who returns to her stifling Orthodox Jewish community upon the death of her father. She rekindles a lesbian romance with McAdams, the wife of a young rabbi.

Take Two: “Disobedience” (R)
Episode date : May 25, 2018
On Take Two
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With Trump’s New War Cabinet in Place, Danger of U.S. Conflict with Iran Rises
Interview with Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for Policy and Political Affairs with Peace Action, conducted by Scott Harris

With the May 17 Senate confirmation of Gina Haspel, President Trump’s pick to head the CIA, the administration’s installation of a new “War Cabinet” is complete. Haspel, who oversaw the torture of U.S.-held detainees after 9/11 and destroyed video evidence of that torture, was a disturbing choice to head the spy agency, given that Trump has aggressively advocated the re-establishment of torture, despite U.S. and international laws that classify torture as a war crime. Story continues

Poor Peoples’ Campaign Actions Call Attention to Systemic Racism
Excerpts of talks delivered by Bishop John Selders and Muslim chaplain Nora FItzpatrick at the Poor People’s Campaign Action, May 21 in Hartford, CT, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus

Connecticut is one of about 40 states participating in a 40-day series of actions called the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Each state is holding an action in its capital city on six consecutive Mondays between May 14 and June 23. Each Monday’s action will focus on a different priority issue, such as poverty, racism and the environmental crisis. Story continues

After Senate Victory, Net Neutrality Defenders Prepare for Fight in House
Interview with Candace Clement, Free Press’ campaign director, conducted by Scott Harris

By a vote of 52 to 47 on May 16, the U.S. Senate voted to overturn the Federal Communications Commission repeal of net neutrality rules. The vote, taken under the Congressional Review Act, now moves the debate on the fate of net neutrality to the House of Representatives, where the legislation faces a tougher fight.
Story continues

Compiled by Bob Nixon

Three-quarters of a million Rohingya Muslims who fled massacres in Myanmar face a potential health crisis as monsoon season arrives for refugees in Bangladesh. Those who fled violence Myanmar are now endangered by the prospect of disease, landslides, flash floods and death according to Foreign Policy magazine. (“The Rohingya Have Fled One Crisis for Another,” American Prospect, May 15, 2018)
Trillions of dollars of dark money move though the British territories in the Caribbean. The Panama Papers that exposed global tax havens, revealed hundreds of shell companies in the British Virgin Islands including the Cayman Islands. (“Disclosure in the Caymans: Global walls of financial secrecy are falling,” Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 2018)
As Amazon made a short list of cities for locating its second corporate headquarters, the retail giant’s home city, Seattle adopted a new head tax on large employers, including Amazon and Starbucks, to fund solutions to Seattle’s escalating housing and homelessness crisis. (“Seattle’s head tax fight goes to the next round,” Seattle Times, May1618, 2018)


The liberal lion of the US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is the subject of a loving documentary “RBG.” The film focuses on her rise to prominence and her feminist perspective. While it can be a bit fawning, Russ and Susan agree that it’s a compelling look at a fascinating individual.

Take Two: “RBG” (PG)
Episode date : May 18, 2018
On Take Two
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Shamelessly raunchy, unapologetically profane and completely irreverent, Marvel’s R-rated 2016 superhero parody “Deadpool” became a surprise box office smash. The equally obscene sequel doesn’t quite match it, but with a zippy pace, well-staged action and Ryan Reynolds’ cheeky performance, “Deadpool 2” comes close. Marvelites will relish the movie’s self-referential humor, cocky attitude and energy. For hardcore fans, “Deadpool 2” is dead on.

The sex lives of women of a certain age get the lighthearted sitcom treatment in “Book Club.” Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen play friends who are inspired to spice up their love lives when they read “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It’s all very cardboard and cliché, but a great cast makes it seem better than it is.

Strong performances from Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola propel the thoughtful drama, “Disobedience.” Weisz plays a worldly photographer who returns to her stifling Orthodox Jewish community upon the death of her father. She rekindles a lesbian romance with McAdams, the wife of a young rabbi. It’s slow moving but builds to an emotional payoff.

John Carroll Lynch and Matt Bomer star in “Anything,” a well-meaning but fitful drama about a widower and his relationship with the troubled transvestite next door. Lynch is fine but much of the story never quite rings true.

Julianne Binoche stars in the oh-so-French character study, “Let the Sunshine In.” Binoche can’t seem to make an emotional connection with her many lovers. This very talky drama from filmmaker Claire Denis depends on Binoche’s charisma to get past a lot of self-pity and navel gazing.

Also opening this week, “Show Dogs” is a family comedy about a human detective and his pooch pal who work a case undercover at a dog show. “Pope Francis – Man of His Word” is a documentary about the pontiff from renowned German director Wim Wenders.


This week on CounterSpin: The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza says Israeli soldiers killed at least 60 Palestinians and wounded as many as 2,700 in an eight-hour period pm May 14. Palestinians protesting both the horrific living conditions in Gaza and their inability—despite international law—to leave it, to return to the homes from which they were expelled, along with hundreds of thousands of people, in the 1940s. At the same time—and for many US TV viewers, on a sickening split-screen—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrating the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, declared it a “great day for peace.”

Media could hardly avoid revealing the disjunction, even as many worked hard to tell you you weren’t seeing what you thought you were seeing—that the overwhelmingly unarmed people were a violent mob, that the snipers picking them off from a distance were defending their lives.

That sort of dissonance has marked elite US media coverage of Gaza for many years. This week we revisit conversations with just three of the people that CounterSpin has heard from who are working to expand and deepen US audiences’ understanding of Gaza—the conflict, the context and the possible ways forward. We’ll hear from James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute; from Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights; and from the Institute for Policy Studies’ Phyllis Bennis.

Gaza & the US Press
Episode date : May 22, 2018
On Counterspin
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Dr. J. Drew Lanham is on a mission to diversify the ornithology community. Hear him talk about his passion for nature, birding, conservation ethics, and what happens when a black man goes birding in rural American woodlands. He will speak at Lawrence Public Library Thursday evening and lead a birding outing at Baker Wetlands Discovery Center on Friday morning. He will join us on the phone, and Candice Price and Wayne Hubbard of Urban American Outdoors TV will join us in the studio.

Lanham is intrigued with how culture and ethnic prisms can bend perceptions of nature and its care. He is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature and Sparrow Envy, a book of poetry. The Home Place was named a 2017 Nature Book of Uncommon Merit, the first time in the Burroughs Association history such a designation was awarded. The Home Place was also recently named the 2018 winner of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Reed Environmental Writing Award.

https://youtu.be/aaPWAE34GJU


Middle East Round Up: Brian Becker

Iran and Gaza are at both at critical and potentially catastrophic junctures. Iran faces new challenges due to because of Donald Trumps denunciation of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and the re-imposition of sweeping sanctions. As well, recent elections in Iraq pushed Irans allies in Iraqs Shia militias”the Popular Mobilization Forces”into second place by nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr.

The element within the Republican Party with deep pockets is the Republican Jewish Committee. They support Netanyahu and his Likud party. The RJC supported both the blowing up of the Iran deal and the move of the Embassy to Jerusalem. Now they support Netanyahus crushing of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Iran also risks being diplomatically out-maneuvered. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Moscow recently, aligning his interests in Syria with Vladimir Putins. In what is becoming routine coordination, Israel forewarned Russia of its attacks on Iran. Viewed from Tehran, Russia, Irans ostensible brother-in-arms in Syria, is more and more unreliable. Its Saudi foes are greatly encouraged by Trumps offensive.

Guest ” Brian Becker, the National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition and a leader of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Brian has been a central organizer of the mass anti-war demonstrations that have taken place in Washington, D.C. in the past decade.”

Stories From Trailblazing Women Lawyers
Women Lawyers

Before the Civil War there were six women lawyers in the entire United States of America. By 1890 there were about 200 and by 1900 about 1000. Women then could not even vote.

It was nearly impossible for a woman to get admitted to a law school or find a job when she graduated. Things did not qualitatively change until the late 1960s and 1970s.

By then, as a consequence of a number of factors including the great civil rights movement, the womens movement, and the empty law school seats created by drafting men to serve in the Vietnam War, women were able to fight discrimination and win law school admission first by protesting in the streets and then through legislation, court decisions, and the actions of a few forward looking politicians.

Now half of the students in American law schools are women. They are professors in those very same places, indeed, the deans of the two most prestigious law schools in America, Harvard and Yale, are women. They are partners in law firms, hold important positions and governmental agencies, and are judges on the bench.

They have made a difference in the measure of social justice obtained by people in this country by advancing peoples and womens rights in education, healthcare, employment, discrimination, family life, and violence against women.

Guest “Jill Norgren, the author of the just published book Stories From Trailblazing Women Lawyers. Ms. Norgren is Professor Emerita of Political Science at John Jay College and the Graduate Center, the City University of New York. She is the author of several books including Rebels at the Bar.


Recent News

Photos from Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan at Silenced Majority Book Tour in KC

November 3, 2012 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on Photos from Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan at Silenced Majority Book Tour in KC
Photos from Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan at Silenced Majority Book Tour in KC

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan discuss their new book, “The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope,” at a community event and KKFI fundraiser on November 1, 2012 at IBEW Local Union 124 in Kansas …

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Homelessness Radio Broadcast Highlights Voices and Stories of Homeless People

October 14, 2012 By KKFI 90.1 FM 1 Comment »
2012 Homelessness Marathon

The Homelessness Marathon is a live, national radio broadcast on Sunday, October 21 originates from different cities throughout the U.S. KKFI starts the broadcast with an hour-long show highlighting plight of homeless people in the Kansas City area. Note: Regular …

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KKFI Kicks Off Strategic Planning Effort…with your help!

October 11, 2012 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on KKFI Kicks Off Strategic Planning Effort…with your help!
Strategic Planning

As KKFI’s 25th anniversary approaches the radio station is embarking on an exciting and critical process to our future. We have engaged consultants from Paradigm Shift Studio to facilitate a strategic planning process for a three-year plan and ensure that …

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2012 Fall Fund Drive – October 4-14 – “It’s a Matter of Trust”

October 10, 2012 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on 2012 Fall Fund Drive – October 4-14 – “It’s a Matter of Trust”
2012 Fall Fund Drive - October 4-14 - "It's a Matter of Trust"

A Message from KKFI’s President Trust. It’s a simple word and a fairly simple concept on the surface. But if you think about it, trust isn’t that simple. The sun will rise, the earth will turn. The seasons will change. …

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KKFI Program Notes for October 8-14, 2012

October 8, 2012 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on KKFI Program Notes for October 8-14, 2012
KKFI Program Notes for October 8-14, 2012

Program Notes on KKFI radio shows for the week of October 8-14 These program notes provide details to several locally-produced and national shows airing on KKFI 90.1 FM. We hope you’ll agree that having more information about these shows will …

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KKFI Program Notes for October 1-7, 2012

October 1, 2012 By KKFI 90.1 FM Comments Off on KKFI Program Notes for October 1-7, 2012
KKFI Program Notes for October 1-7, 2012

Program Notes on KKFI radio shows for the week of October 1-7 These program notes provide details to several locally-produced and national shows airing on KKFI 90.1 FM. We hope you’ll agree that having more information about these shows will …

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