Gender Based Violence in Myanmar

A Canadian living in Yangon, Myanmar [formerly Burma] probes deeply into what people say, think, and do about Gender Based Violence in a country that has a mythology of equality and a reality of subordination.

Featured Guest: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, opposition leader and National League For Democracy Chairperson; Daw Myat Myat Ohn Khin, Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement; Ma Aye Aye Maw, Economics and English teache; Ko Kyaw Min San, male Taxi Driver; Daw Katha Htery, Buddhist nun; Daw Myint Myint Khin, Boarding house owner. Most of these women are involved with the group Akhaya Women.

Sierra Club Radio: Lessons of Love Canal

Our Earth Day Special! 
We’re honored to talk with grassroots hero and renowned environmental activist Lois Gibbs, whose work in Love Canal in the 1970′s sparked a movement to clean up toxic waste. She talks with us about creative tactics in activism; what gives her hope; and her work now as Executive Director of the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. 
Also some Green Tips from Avital Andrews on how to make your drive greener.  


Vi Tran presents
A Refugee Performance Memoir
Performed live on KKFI 90.1 FM
Tune in or stream at
8:00 p.m., April 23, 2015

Vi Tran–utilizing drama, spoken word, slam poetry, and folk music–chronicles his family’s escape from Vietnam, through Khmer Rouge-controlled Cambodia, the refugee camps of Thailand and The Philippines, to their eventual arrival and new life in America. Tune in to experience a moving tale of perseverance, love, and hope.

Directed by Mackenzie Goodwin
Featuring Vi Tran, Ai Vy Bui, Erika Crane Ricketts, and Ben Byard

Live theatrical performances at The Buffalo Room on select dates from April 30 – May 11. Stay tuned for more information!

Stand Up KC Rally Retrospect

This week on Tell Somebody, Tom Klammer takes a look (and listen!) back at last week’s historic Fight For $15 and Good Jobs For All rally, the largest one in Kansas City yet, which was attended by nearly 2,000 and included speeches from Mayor Sly James in support of $15 and a union. If you were there, be prepared to get re-energized! All this and more on Tell Somebody, Thursdays at 9AM.

Speaking Turkish: Denying the Armenian Genocide

To commemorate this, the first genocide of the 20th century, Law and Disorder co-host Heidi Boghosian presents a 60-minute documentary special titled “Speaking Turkish: Denying the Armenian Genocide.”

Around the world, April 24 marks the observance of the Armenian Genocide. On that day in 1915 the Interior Minister of the Ottoman Empire ordered the arrest and hangings of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. It was the beginning of a systematic and well-documented plan to eliminate the Armenians, who were Christian, and who had been under Ottoman rule and treated as second class citizens since the 15th century.

The unspeakable and gruesome nature of the killings—beheadings of groups of babies, dismemberments, mass burnings, mass drownings, use of toxic gas, lethal injections of morphine or injections with the blood of typhoid fever patients—render oral histories particularly difficult for survivors of the victims.

Why did this happen? Despite being deemed inferior to Turkish Muslims, the Armenian community had attained a prestigious position in the Ottoman Empire and the central authorities there grew apprehensive of their power and longing for a homeland. The concerted plan of deportation and extermination was effected, in large part, because World War I demanded the involvement and concern of potential allied countries. As the writer Grigoris Balakian wrote, the war provided the Turkish government “their sole opportunity, one unprecedented” to exploit the chaos of war in order to carry out their extermination plan.

As Armenians escaped to several countries, including the United States, a number came to New Britain, Connecticut in 1892 to work in the factories of what was then known as the hardware capital of the world. By 1940 nearly 3,000 Armenians lived there in a tight-knit community.

Pope Frances calls it a duty not to forget “the senseless slaughter” of an estimated one and a half million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks from 1915 to 1923. “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” the Pope said just two weeks before the 100th anniversary of the systematic implementation of a plan to exterminate the Armenian race.

Special thanks to Jennie Garabedian, Arthur Sheverdian, Ruth Swisher, Harry Mazadoorian, and Roxie Maljanian. Produced and written by Heidi Boghosian and Geoff Brady.

Eduardo Galeano – A Poet of Many Worlds

This week on From the Vault, we honor one of the great journalists, authors and poets of our time, Eduardo Galeano, who died on Monday April 13th, 2015. Two recordings from Pacifica Radio Archives perfectly exemplify Eduardo Galeano’s artistry with words, his compassion for humanity, and his relentless pursuit to present the unknown history of the Americas and give voice to non-traditional history-makers. We begin with a 1992 interview Eduardo Galeano gave to historian and Pacifica Radio KPFK programmer Nancy Hollander, and follow with a 1991 live audience reading by Eduardo Galeano at Los Angeles City College, in a recording titled Eduardo Galeano: A Poet of Many Worlds.

Dragons of Inaction

For this Earth Day, we’re taking the planet’s pulse… and our own. Robert Gifford (University of Victoria) explains the dragons of inaction that keep us from changing our behaviors, even if we know they re bad for the environment. And: Edward Maibach (George Mason University) is starting conversations about climate change in unexpected places: Facebook, the doctor s office, and the TV weather report.

Later in the show: Coastal geologist Christopher Hein (Virginia Institute of Marine Science) says that due to climate change, east coast shorelines are shifting… fast. But, he says there may be a way we can help barrier islands preserve vital ecosystems throughout the accelerating changes. Also: Synthetic hormones are flooding the waterways, so biologist Sara O’Brien (Radford University) is conducting experiments to pinpoint the source of human-made hormones and to determine the consequences of exposure to them. The canary-in-the-coal-mine for O’Brien’s research is the ubiquitous “mosquito fish”.

Are Soldiers Happy? Unhappy? Compared to What?

I’m a big believer in the question, “Compared to what?”

As in: Is Politician X worth supporting or opposing in an election? It’s hard to say without knowing what the alternatives are.

It’s the unanswered question “compared to what?” that makes USA Today‘s lead story, “Soldiers Hate Their Jobs” by Gregg Zoroya (4/16/15), a prime example of pseudo-news.

The story reports what the paper characterizes as “startlingly negative results” from psychological tests given to US Army personnel:

Twelve months of data through early 2015 show that 403,564 soldiers, or 52 percent, scored badly in the area of optimism, agreeing with statements such as “I rarely count on good things happening to me.” Forty-eight percent have little satisfaction in or commitment to their jobs.

Now, let me say that I’m sympathetic to the point of this article; I suspect many people in the military are what you would call unhappy, and why wouldn’t they be? But the data given in the piece don’t prove that point at all.

To see why, consider this paragraph, which seems to have been inserted to demonstrate the military’s slippery unwillingness to face reality:

Subsequent to USA Today‘s inquiry, the Army calculated new findings but lowered the threshold for a score to be a positive result. As a consequence, for example, only 9 percent of 704,000 score poorly in optimism.

But what makes the 52 percent number, featured in the story’s subhead (“Army Data Show 52% Pessimistic About the Future”), any more meaningful than 9 percent? Each is an arbitrary cutoff, dividing those who “score poorly” from a “positive result.” Depending on how many pessimism-related questions were asked, you could get virtually any result you wanted by moving that cutoff up or down. And since that number could be anything, it means nothing.

Are Army personnel more or less pessimistic than they used to be? Do they hate their jobs more or less than people in civilian life? That’s information that would make these numbers meaningful. Because then we would know–compared to what?