Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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Episode 878

Die Herd

Dec 12 2015
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Roy Scranton

Extinction level eventuality: Why civilization must die before it's too late.

Writer Roy Scranton explains why he sees death when he looks to civilization's future - from national political systems unable to address the looming, global threat of climate change, to our failure on an individual level to move behind ethnic and national arrangements as a globalized earth grows more chaotic - and how we have a choice between the death of our current way of life, or the death of our species itself.

Roy is author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization from City Lights.

Interview Transcript via Antidote Zine

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Dan Litchfield

How Volkswagen engineered its way around vehicle emission laws.

Live from somewhere on the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway, correspondent Dan Litchfield explains Dieselgate, in which Volkswagen put their engineering skills to use creating an elaborate system to cheating on vehicle emissions tests, and a big story about the Ohio energy market, where the natural gas and oil industries are securing guaranteed money at the expense of the energy market and future of renewable power.

Dan recommends reading the Reuters article Volkswagen diesel civil suits to be heard in California and the Tom Henry post Energy security vs. capitalism debate at the heart of FirstEnergy's 'bailout' request for Davis-Besse, Sammis.

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Mark Weisbrot

What's behind right wing gains in the Venezuelan and Argentine elections?

CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot explains how recent right-wing electoral victories in Argentina and Venezuela are more a result of economic mismanagement by left governments than referendums on Latin American post-dictatorship socialism as the US media would have you believe, and why he believes growth will set the region back on track.

Mark wrote the Hill post What next for Venezuela? and the new book Failed What the "Experts" Got Wrong about the Global Economy.

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Mehrsa Baradaran

How banks abandoned the public good, and chose profit over stability.

Law professor Mehrsa Baradaran explains how decades of banking deregulation have lead to a new, harsh financial system that exists to extract wealth from poor customers and support from America's political class, what happens to an industry (and economy) that chooses immediate profit over long-term stability, and why postal banking offers a way to restore upward mobility to a class of people who can't afford credit in the current marketplace.

Mehrsa is author of How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy from Harvard University Press.

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Doug Henwood

Opportunism knocks: Why Hillary's past is Hillary's future.

Journalist Doug Henwood explains why understanding Hillary Clinton's past - from her role shaping the right-leaning New Democrat ideology of the 1990s, to her Senate and diplomatic career promoting militarism and neoliberal economics in the US and abroad - is the key to understand what she offers for the future, as she sells herself as anything but everything she stands for.

Doug is author of My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency from OR Books.

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Jeff Dorchen

Nothing but his own feces: A Chinese ghost story for Donald Trump

Jeff Dorchen falls in love with a pug-nosed, depression-era looking lady ghost, looks into the Chinese government's ghost movie ban, stumbles into a book deemed Too Hot for Confucious, and finds stories of love, sex, ghosts, goats, ghost-goat-babies and even a tale for the specter of Donald Trump himself - appropriately involving death, fire and coprophagy.

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