20 Years Since Pres. Clinton Shredded Welfare

August 22 marks the beginning of “welfare reform”‘s 20th year, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Felicia Kornbluh, Prof of History & Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the Univ of Vermont, says: “Playing to a racist imagination and dealing in sexist double standards, Republicans and Democrats came together 19 years ago to transform income assistance for the poor into a system of regulation, deprivation and punishment.”

The legislation that established Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), made limiting women’s choices and ending single motherhood its goals. The nation’s chief policy dedicated to impoverished families with children did not include mitigating poverty, enhancing opportunity, or attenuating inequality as its goals.

As a result, while welfare rolls have declined, poverty still stalks single mothers & their children — and extreme poverty is at crisis high levels.

Kornbluh’s books include The Battle for Welfare Rights: Politics and Poverty in Modern America and Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform After 20 Years (with Gwendolyn Mink) forthcoming.


Produced and Hosted by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg, Buiding Bridges Radio, WBAI

Dorothy Day

In this episode of From the Vault we feature a rare recording of journalist, activist, and Catholic Worker Movement co-founder Dorothy Day. In 1927, thirty years after her birth, Day converted to Catholicism, and a few years later started The Catholic Worker, a popular newspaper promoting Catholic teachings. Leaning on the success of this publication, Day created the Catholic Worker Movement, which to this day addresses a wide range of social justice issues, guided by Catholic principles. Today, four decades after her passing in 1980, Day remains a revered figure in the modern Catholic Church, widely regarded as one of the most influential and important figures in the American Catholicism; indeed, Pope Francis himself highlighted the legacy of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement in his 2015 address to the United States Congress.

In this interview, conducted for KPFA by Eugene Boyle on May 3rd, 1960 (and being rebroadcast for the first time now), Day discusses the Catholic Worker’s Movement’s campaign for world peace since its inception in the 1930’s. We’ll also speak with Blase Bonpane, host of the radio show World Focus (KPFK) and director of the Los Angeles-based Office of the Americas, which focuses on human rights issues and the identification of illegal and immoral aspects of United States government policy. Bonpane and Day worked side by side on many issues over the years.

Life On Mars?

This week on Exploration, we discuss “Life on Mars”, as NASA announces that liquid water, for the first time, has been discovered on Mars. What does this mean? Also, Dr. Tom Jones, astronaut, talks about going into space.

“The Three Musketeers” & The MET

On this week’s edition of Arts Magazine, Artistic Director Devon Carney and Stager Gilles Maidon will tell us about the Kansas City Ballet production of The Three Musketeers: All For One, And One For All.

Then, at 12:30, Artistic Director Karen Paisley will speak with us about the new season and new location for the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. Tune in for all this, plus Russ Simmons Freeze Frame, AND your chance to support your community radio station, KKFI, with your donations.

New York City Councilors Issue Proclamation Honoring Ethel Rosenberg On Her 100th Birthday and A New Film About The FBI – (T)ERROR

New York City Councilors Issue Proclamation Honoring Ethel Rosenberg on her 100th Birthday

The Rosenberg atomic spy case of 1951 was one of the most famous political trials in American history. Both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were from New York and had been active in the American Communist Party. When they were arrested in 1950 it was at the height of the hysteria during the infamous red hunting McCarthy decade. In 1950 the Russians first tested their atomic bomb and United States initiated the Korean War to roll back the revolution there. The effects the cold war and the execution of the Rosenbergs was devastating to the Left. Ethel and Julius were electrocuted to death at Sing Sing prison two years later. At the sentencing, federal judge Irving Kaufman said that the Rosenbergs were guilty of facilitating the death of some 50,000 American soldiers in the Korean War and President Eisenhower. Declining to grant clemency, he said they might be responsible for the death of tens of millions of people in an atomic war. The government tried to get Julius Rosenberg to confess and give names. A representative from the Attorney General’s office visited him at Sing Sing prison. Rosenberg said no. He said “We are the victims of a most monstrous frame up.”

Subsequent scholarship has shown that Ethel Rosenberg was totally innocent and that Julius Rosenberg was not an atomic bomb spy and that there was no secret to the atomic bomb, it was a question of industrial technique.

Now, 62 years, later Ethel Rosenberg was honored by the New York city Council on the steps of City Hall September 28 with a proclamation of her innocence. It would have been her one hundredth birthday. We hear audio excerpts from the press conference and from Michael Smith and Heidi Boghosian speaking with Robbie Meeropol, Meriam Moscowitz and Attorney Danny Myers.



In a twist on the confidential informant genre, the new film (T)ERROR chronicles a Bureau investigation without the FBI knowing it’s being watched. Filmmakers David Felix Sutcliffe and Lyric Cabral follow ex-con Saeed “Shariff” Torres, who claims to have made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year befriending Muslim targets accused of pro-terrorism inclinations. Shariff alienated a Brooklyn community of Muslim friends by helping convict jazz bassist Tarik Shah just for talking about training members of Al Qaeda. In 2005 Shariff revealed to filmmaker Cabral that he was an FBI informant. He later agreed to let her and Sutcliffe film details of his work without the FBI’s knowledge. The movie shows how Shariff was directed to befriend Khalifah Al-Akili, a white Muslim convert who has publicly made pro-terrorist statements. After Shariff and the FBI trying to get Khalifah to shift from words to deeds, he goes public with suspicions that the FBI has targeted him.

Guest – David Felix Sutcliffe, is a Sundance award winning documentary filmmaker. In 2013, he was included in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual list of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” His first film, ADAMA (PBS, 2011), is an hour-long documentary that explores the story of a 16-year-old Muslim girl growing up in Harlem who was arrested by the FBI on suspicion of being a potential suicide bomber. (T)ERROR, co-directed with acclaimed photojournalist Lyric R. Cabral, is his feature-length documentary debut, and marks the first time that filmmakers have had access to an active FBI informant in a domestic counterterrorism investigation. (T)ERROR premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature.

Global Roots Radio celebrates KKFI

Let’s Celebrate! It’s our 77th show! Join us to uplift and big up Community Radio in Kansas City during the Fall Pledge Drive with previous guest-hosts, recordings of live performances and stories of KC love and homeland spirit! Support KKFI and Global Roots Radio and donate here!

The Garifuna of Honduras Plus Ethiopia

Alfredo Lopez, of OFRANEH, The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, and Community Radio activist will be in Kansas City on October 4 & 5th to talk about his people, the Garifuna, Afro-Indigenous Hondurans and their inspiring Resistance to the U.S. Drug War, violent displacement and forced migration to the U.S.  He will be on GRR on KKFI Sunday October 4th from 3:00 – 4:00 PM.  He will also speak at the Black Archives of MidAmerica, 1722 E. 17th Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64106 at 5:00 p.m.

In the second hour of the program, Helen Gebre-Amlak brings us more from Ethiopia.

Reaching the Whole World

By Craig Havighurst, Music City Roots Producer

“Nashville has my heart,” said Bex Chilcott aka Ruby Boots during her set this week at Roots. I think she spoke in some way for just about all the Australian artists who took the stage this week for our annual night of Down Under overdrive. Aussie Night features artists who have worked very hard and established enough bona fides in their home country to qualify for travel money and promotion from Sounds Australia. And the end of their 10,000 mile journey is Music City, for good reason. Others have come before, from Keith Urban to that sweet O’Shea couple, establishing careers. This is the place where you can put a U.S. career together. And as Bex said, contemporary Nashville with its open-hearted community of creators, is very special. And we’re all about welcoming pilgrims, especially when they’re as talented as these folks.

Rick Price has actually emigrated to Nashville, and I can’t believe he’s been singing and writing in our midst here the whole time Music City Roots has been on the air. This guy’s quite incredible, with a supple and powerful voice that can leap between chest and head with a falsetto that’s tender yet manly. I recently fell for the stomping energy of his opening track on the new Tennessee Sky album called “Work That Fire,” and to make up for the lack of band he got the crowd singing the “on my way home” refrain. His finale was a brave and brilliant a cappella song called “Until We Meet Again.” Playing a well-worn Maton guitar and looking clean in a vest and shirt, he owned the stage and got us off to an energetic start.

I for one am kind of devastated that the next two artists live so very far away. I’d sign on as a fan clubber for both Raised By Eagles and Oh Pep! These Eagles played country rock but sounded almost nothing like that California best-selling band that may or may not have raised them. The rhythms were clean and propulsive. Up to four voices at once made the harmonies lush in a Band of Heathens kind of way. The electric guitar playing by Nick O’Mara, Telecaster and lap steel, was brilliant. But my fondness came from an overall feeling, an ease and cool the band maintained on both the rocking material like “Jackie” or the ambience of “Waiting For Ghosts.” Fly on young Eagles. Fly on.

Pep is an old fashioned word, but Olivia and Pepita who make up Oh Pep! (get it?) have put together a properly modern folk rock band with poetic lyrics, fascinating musical textures and a radiant positive energy. “The Race” had truth-in-advertising briskness and a melody that really sticks in my head. The epic “Tea, Milk & Honey” ended the set with a long introductory passage and then great dynamic playing by the full four-piece band. Pepita’s use of fiddle in unusual ways is another plus. Oh Pep! is embarking on a full US tour, so wherever you are, check em out.

Ruby Boots came on with red hair and a black cowgirl outfit (my favorite color scheme, to adapt Richard Thompson). The five-piece band conspired to make crisp, uptempo country rock that framed Bex Chilcott’s bold voice nicely. This time the fine electric twang and slide came from guitarist Lee Jones, especially on the desert lonesome “Middle Of Nowhere.” That set the table for Mark Moffatt’s St. James Infirmary, about which we knew nothing, because this was their fourth gig. Let’s call it a high quality bar band with good taste in cover choices. I haven’t heard “Poke Salad Annie” in ages, but they came out with that one and it was funky and Southern. Lead singer Greg Mangus can often be found singing fearsomely difficult lead vocals for the Long Players and rock and soul projects in the city, and he was fantastic, with gravel and grease and a massive physical presence. Moffatt played blistering guitar solos. And a night that had been pretty mellow hit a rock and roll climax as it ended. The assembled bands did a joyful version of “Let The Good Times Roll.” Not exactly an Australian anthem. But certainly apropos to the feeling of the night.

Thanks to the AristoMedia family for coming out to help us salute the late great Jeff Walker. Thanks to Dobe Newton for once again shepherding some great Aussie bands and artists our way for a great lineup. It’s fun to have a relationship with a country that’s so very far away. It makes reaching the whole world feel possible.