UAW: Historic Demand to Eliminate Wage Tiers – Frank Hammer

Talia Baroncelli

Frank Hammer, former President of United Auto Workers (UAW) local 909 in Detroit and retired GM worker, explains how “legacy” workers are standing up for new hires. This is critical to building working-class solidarity. He also reflects on the history of autoworker strikes in the U.S. and in Mexico, reminding us of the deadly incident at the Ford Cuautitlán plant, in which thugs dressed in Ford uniforms shot dead one of the workers and injured ten others.

Climate Lobbyists Hijack Progressive Climate Bills – Rebecca Burns

Talia Baroncelli

Rebecca Burns, journalist at the investigative news outlet The Lever, discusses her reporting on extensive lobbying efforts to hold up legislation which would require companies to disclose all of their greenhouse gas emissions. In a recent report, she details how the same lobbyists who seek to derail progressive climate legislation in California are also getting paid by counties and cities along the California coast to deal with the impact of coastal erosion and fires.

Paul Jay on 9/11

Law and Disorder

Jay discusses his interviews with Sen. Bob Graham, who chaired the joint congressional investigation into the events of 9/11 and was the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham outright accused Bush and Cheney of facilitating the 9/11 attacks. Jay also discusses his interviews with former NSA official Thomas Drake, who says intercepts that could have prevented 9/11 were never acted on. Paul Jay was a guest on Law and Disorder, hosted by Michael Smith. This interview was originally recorded on October 18, 2021.

Debt and Climate Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World – Asoka Bandarage

Talia Baroncelli

Dr. Asoka Bandarage is an adjunct professor at the California Institute for Integral Studies and the author of a new book, Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World. Sri Lanka has had a minuscule carbon footprint, and yet the country is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, coastal erosion, and flooding. She discusses the convergence of existential climate and debt crises in Sri Lanka, the latter resulting from IMF debt restructuring and the lack of a globally coordinated multilateral sovereign debt mechanism that places traditional and private lenders on an equal footing.

Corruption in Lebanon Propped up by the Transnational Capitalist Elite – Nadim Houry

Talia Baroncelli

Widespread corruption in Lebanon is fostered by the country’s ruling class, whose business interests are enmeshed with those of international finance. Nadim Houry, executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative, explains how Lebanon’s culture of political impunity is tied to the reconstruction agreements put in place in 1990, at the end of the 15-year civil war. The ongoing political deadlock shields the authorities from scrutiny and allows for vulture capitalists such as the former governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank, Riad Salameh, to embezzle the country’s resources. At the same time, ordinary people are faced with crushing inflation.

Revolutionary Mathematics: Artificial Intelligence, Statistics, and the Logic of Capitalism

Talia Baroncelli

Justin Joque is a visualization librarian at the University of Michigan and the author of the book Revolutionary Mathematics: Artificial Intelligence, Statistics, and the Logic of Capitalism. His book examines the statistical models on which our algorithms, machine learning, and financial systems are built, highlighting the mechanisms of abstraction which lend these models an air of misleading objectivity. Can statistical models be used towards emancipatory aims?

Global Upheaval Undermining Food Security – Matin Qaim

Talia Baroncelli

Matin Qaim, Director of the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn, examines the various aspects comprising food security, namely local and global supply chains, the generation of income for local farmers, investments in the production of nutritious foods, as well as accounting for climate externalities. Attaining food security has become even more difficult given the disruptions around the pandemic, rising inflation, and the failed Black Sea grain deal. He asserts that small-scale farming and agroecological approaches are not necessarily low-tech and that certain technologies, if applied correctly, can assist smallholder farmers.

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