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Keeping democracy alive Democracy is not a spectator sport, it requires informed participating citizens. On Keeping Democracy Alive, we delve into dynamics that both inhibit democracy and reinvigorate it. looking into issues from: domestic economic issues to foreign, labor, trade, and education policy, NSA spying, the drug war, prison, police, and judicial issues, electoral and protest politics, middle east realities, right and left wing populism, environmental and energy issues, the wealth ...
 
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Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, James L. Sutter, Dan Wells, Cassandra Khaw, and Howard TaylerFor the next eight episodes we'll be talking about roleplaying games, and how that medium relates to writers, writing, career opportunities, and more. We're led by James L. Sutter and Cassandra Khaw on this particular quest.In this episode we lay some gro…
 
“Crisis at the Border.” The truth is: unless we get to the root of how bad it has to be to force people to leave home, the refugees will keep coming. On this show political anthropology professor David Vine reveals The post To Stop Northward Migration, Address the Causes appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Dubbed by The New York Times as one of the "most vexing and unexplained" mysteries in aviation history, the crash of Pan American World Airways Flight 7 in November 1957 resulted in 44 deaths and remains officially unsolved to this day. But Ken H. Fortenberry, an award-winning journalist whose father was the copilot and navigator aboard the ill-fat…
 
Traditional liberals argued we’d alienate some by civil disobedience in the streets of Washington. The idea was to stop the center of the war machine to stop the war, which went on an on despite marches and speeches and everyone The post The Remarkable Success of MayDay 1971 appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and HowardFor the last seven episodes we've explored language, meaning, and their overlap with that thing we mean when we use language to say "poetry."In this episode we step back to some origins, including, at a meta-level, the origins of this podcast as a writer-focused exploration of genre fiction—the specu…
 
The dehumanized Amazon warehouse as pictured in the movie Nomadland is more benign than reality. There is an “existential bleakness” where every instant is being watched, humans serve robots, and one can be fired by algorithm. In his powerful new The post The Biggest, Least Human Power in America: Amazon appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Self-professed “patriots” stormed the US Capitol Building January 6th, but it was Vietnam Veterans Against the War in late April 1971 who were the real patriots. They came for what they considered another tour of duty, after serving in the The post In Military Gear, Patriots Invade the Capital: 50 Years Ago appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive…
 
Interest in the Menendez brothers’ case has exploded in the last few months. Over 770 million views on TikTok. The groundswell began in 2017 with the TV premieres of several documentaries and NBC’s eight-episode limited series Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders. Social media users were overwhelmingly sympathetic to the brothers during the…
 
You may have read recently about a flare up of rioting in Belfast. It’s all a result of Boris Johnson’s Brexit. Scholar Kenneth Surin, a British citizen teaching in the US, explains what’s going on in Northern Ireland. Though it’s The post Troubles in Northern Ireland: Unforeseen Brexit Blues appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and HowardRhyming is powerful. It can signal a form, or telegraph whimsy. It can be predictable, surprising, and sometimes both.It may also be seen as childish.When, then, is it time to rhyme?Will rhyming "internally" fit?As opposed to a line-ending bit.For answers, just listen.But rhymes will be missin'Especi…
 
The year is 1917. Less than two decades into the new century and already the Great War is occurring in the muddy fields of France. Soon there will be the Spanish Influenza which will kill many more millions. An inauspicious start to a new millennium, to be sure. In one of Canada’s largest cities, Toronto, there has been a murder. A cab driver is fo…
 
As our guest Chuck Collins explains, it’s like one person orders expensive wine for a dinner crowd and sneaks out without paying. His new book is titled The Wealth Hoarders; How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions. What he calls The post How the Wealth Defense Industry Poisons Democracy appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Thanks to January 6th, the word sedition is in our consciousness again. Trump is more likely guilty of treason than of mere sedition according to the former director of the CIA and our guest, history teacher and essayist William Pruden The post Sedition and Democracy appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
A woman named Becki is lounging by the pool at the Fontainebleau Hotel when she decides to proposition a strapping pool attendant. Go on a date with her...and her husband. What begins as an unconventional proposition will soon throw them all into the international spotlight. And that’s because the couple is none other than Jerry Falwell Jr. and his…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and HowardHow does a poem happen?Absent an external structure, what makes a thing a poem?The key word in that question may be "external," because ultimately the poem on the page will be the implicit definition of its own structure—even if it borrows a "non-poetic" structure from another form.Structure is as st…
 
The monuments to Confederate leaders are all about altering the realities of history to empower and enforce old mythic beliefs. They are there on courthouse lawns to remind black southerners of their place. One this show, Southern historian Karen Cox The post No Common Ground for Confederate Monuments appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
In 1974, the brutal murder of Anita Fagiani Andrews, a fifty-one-year-old former beauty queen and mother of two, shook the small working-class town of Napa. Detectives, criminalists and forensic experts raced to identify who'd struck Anita down in her own bar, but despite their efforts, the case went cold. Decades passed, during which the town grew…
 
The message of his calm kneeling and centuries of racist violence is: you could be next, black person. Chauvin knew only 1% of police killing black people are even prosecuted. There have been others caught on film in broad daylight The post Hands in His Pockets as He Kills George Floyd appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and HowardRigorous structure in poetic formis commonly pointed at when we declarePoems have meters and rhymes, as the norm.Yet words without patterns can roar like a stormSo why pay attention, why study with careRigorous structure in poetic form?Just set it aside, surrender the gorm(means "alertness", a quite-…
 
Wealthy, beautiful, and brilliant, Shele Danishefsky had fulfillment at her fingertips. Having conquered Wall Street, she was eager to build a family with her much younger husband, promising Ivy League graduate Rod Covlin. But when his hidden vices surfaced, marital harmony gave way to a merciless divorce. Rod had long depended on Shele's income to…
 
Americans talk about the surge at the border, but the real point is everyone has a right to stay home. Today’s guest Avi Chomsky says that under Biden, Trump’s cement wall is instead outsourced to a militarized high-tech barrier. Do The post Border Crisis? How About A Right to Stay Home appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Law enforcement professionals and criminologists long have been challenged to arrive at a consensus over the most accurate ways to classify serial killers. With predators as diverse as the lesser-known William Zamastil to slick con artists such as Ted Bundy, one description certainly does not fit all when it comes to grouping the depraved minds tha…
 
He came in as a macho Cold War president but after the reality of near nuclear war, John Kennedy became a changed man. He gave an important speech about peace in June 1963. Now the Cold War is back and The post Can Biden Complete JFK’s Start at Peace? appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.توسط Burt Cohen
 
Nina Gilden Seavey was twelve on May 5, 1970, the day an Air Force building in St. Louis burned to the ground. Her dad represented a young man accused of the crime: Howard Mechanic. Facing serious federal time, Howard went on the run and became one of the longest-running fugitives in U.S. history. As an adult, Nina picked up the trail. What ever ha…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and HowardWe might begin with description.Or we might begin by deconstructing the act of describing.Wait. No, not there.Let's jump in AFTER the deconstruction.Let's leap beyond a statement of topic, let's hurdle clear of mundane declarations of the audio file's length, and together plunge headlong into metapho…
 
Fierce nationalism and the insistence that the US is indispensable to organize the world has played itself out. With awareness of climate change, worldwide opposition to racism, and the avoidable persistence of great poverty, could this be the time once The post Stronger than Ever : The One World Idea is Back appeared first on Keeping Democracy Ali…
 
If you want a view into the world that lies behind the Ted Bundy murders, this last work in a series of six books on Bundy, is definitely for you. For within these pages you’ll read of the many questions still surrounding this fascinating and intricate case, as well as the answers that are only now being provided here. There’s so much more to learn…
 
A charismatic Russian woman arrives in the US on a mission to improve relations between the two countries, and she soon makes some powerful friends. But who is Maria Butina? And who is she working for? As Maria gets closer to the rich and connected she also attracts the attention of the FBI. In the politically charged world of US-Russia relations, …
 
Fossil fueled fascism is not limited to the west. The roots of India’s ruling party go back to Mussolini and Nazis. Repressing minorities as they increase wealth and power of the autocratic rulers. The US is tight with Prime Minister The post The Rise of Fascism: It’s India’s Turn appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
The Gospel of Blood is the autobiography of Nico Claux, a French morgue attendant whose morbid obsessions led him to grave robbery, cannibalism and murder in the early 1990s. It is a bone-chilling chronicle of a real-life vampire who prowled the Gothic cemeteries of Paris, unearthing coffins and mutilating the bodies inside. A practicing Satanist, …
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and HowardPatterns in the way we're speaking may betray which 'brain' we're using; often bound by what's familiar, sometimes loosed for free-er choosing.Writing like the day-brain's thinkingSinging while the night-brain's winkingAll the cadence going funky(golden-mantled howler monkey)Credits: This episode was…
 
Faulkner County native Red Hall was a serial killer who confessed to murdering at least twenty-four people. Most of his victims were motorists who picked him up as he hitchhiked around the United States. In the closing months of World War II, he beat his wife to death and went on a killing spree across the state. His signature smile lured his victi…
 
It’s so easy for the national security state to just paint the same old picture for Americans: Russia and China are military threats. But in truth they are not. They are rising economically in large part because we have wasted The post The Cold War Again? appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.توسط Burt Cohen
 
Even if it never makes it on TV, progressive action does make a difference. There’s a place for all activists, forcing hidden problems and opportunities to the fore. Our guest Dinah Yessne has a new book called Politically Defined. There’s The post Unknown Activist: Challenges, Successes, and Rewards appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and HowardCan you hear your writing sing, being intoned instead of read? With the dialogs as tunes whose tags say "sung" instead of "said?" When the rhythm of your prose echoes the rhythm of a song you'll see perhaps you've been a poet all along.Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered…
 
Pounding on windows, yelling Stop the Count; the tactics of physical intimidation (led by the president’s men) succeeded in crushing democracy in the US election of 2000. On part one, our guest historian Robert Toplin tells the story where fear The post Democracy Lost to Powerful Men in 2000, but Women Saved it in 1937 appeared first on Keeping Dem…
 
MAN-Slaughter tells intertwining stories about how one gunshot on a cold Wisconsin night in 1970 dramatically changed multiple lives. A bullet brutally tore through decorated law enforcement veteran LaVerne Stordock. Decades later, his niece, Dorothy Marcic, transformed herself into an amateur detective in a quest for truth and closure about that n…
 
Interviewed in Israel, Jewish author Larry Derfner says Israel has never been held accountable and argues the International Criminal Court is right to investigate Israel for war crimes. Boycott, Divest,and Sanction has been ineffective and that the right has used The post Jewish Israeli: Time to Hold Israel Accountable at The Hague appeared first o…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and HowardThis is how we begin our master classon poetry, with Amal El-Mohtar:With not one question, but two. What is poetry? What is prose?Yes, both questions are a trap.Or maybe two traps.But definitely a beginning.Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson…
 
In 1976, a killer who called himself ‘The Son of Sam’ shot and killed a half dozen people and wounded as many more in New York City. During his crime spree, the madman left bizarre letters mocking the police and promising more deaths. After months of terrorizing the city while garnering front-page headlines and international attention, a man named …
 
Harold Schechter, Amazon Charts bestselling author of Hell’s Princess, unearths a nearly forgotten true crime of obsession and revenge, and one of the first—and worst—mass murders in American history. In 1927, while the majority of the township of Bath, Michigan, was celebrating a new primary school—one of the most modern in the Midwest—Andrew P. K…
 
So much we have to learn from January 6th. On the first part of today’s show History Professor Robert Schneider calls it a “Populist Transgression,” without a legitimate grievance. Other uprisings and disruptions are purposeful. He likens Trump to Mao: The post A Carnival of Breaking Stuff and Lynching: January 6th appeared first on Keeping Democra…
 
Growing up on Cape Cod in the 1960s, Liza Rodman was a lonely little girl. During the summers, while her mother worked days in a local motel and danced most nights in the Provincetown bars, her babysitter—the kind, handsome handyman at the motel where her mother worked—took her and her sister on adventures in his truck. He bought them popsicles and…
 
The greedy hyper-wealthy cheer on their Republican advocates as they fight to crush democracy. But a lot of American millionaires are also patriots and recognize that more democracy is needed to build the common good. On this show, Morris Pearl, The post Patriotic Millionaires Boosting Democracy through HR 1 And More appeared first on Keeping Democ…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard, with special guest Kevin J. AndersonKevin J. Anderson joins us to talk about how others have helped us in our careers, and how we might continue that tradition and help others.Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson…
 
Cold Case Story is based on the brutal murder of a housewife in the Denver suburbs in 1973. A college student back then, Stephanie Kane was more than a witness to this terrible crime. For nearly thirty years, she remained silent. Then, in 2001, she tried to exorcise the crime by fictionalizing it in a mystery novel called Quiet Time. But instead of…
 
American presidents have assumed that our place is at the head of the table with our European counterparts. In his first (virtual) meeting as president with German and French leaders, Biden was met by, what KDA’s most popular guest Patrick The post We’re Not at the Head of the Table Anymore appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Jefferson saw America as sovereign independent states, only unified for defensive foreign policy. But today both left and right recognize the costs of empire are too high. And we are really too big to govern. Splitting into more natural bio-regions The post What Happens to the Nukes if The US Splits Up? appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, and HowardHow many different ways can our writing earn money for us? What additional work, besides "just" writing, do we need to do in order to get that money? In this episode we discuss finding and managing multiple revenue streams, whether that means writing for new audiences, or monetizing existing writing in new …
 
The assault on science and reason:we’ve seen it before. In the plagues of the 1300s and in 1918, as well as Covid-19, fear and uncertainty combine to draw out extremism. On this show professor of history at Messiah University (an The post Plagues And Extremism: A Perfect Storm appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.…
 
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