Frann Michel's blog

Some movie mole reviews

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Movie Moles: Star Trek: Into Darkness

Old Mole Variety Hour 6/10/2013

Movie Moles Frann Michel and Joe Clement discuss the politics of race, gender and imperialism in the latest Star Trek movie against the background of the whole series of Star Trek films.

Movie Moles: Shift Change

Old Mole Variety Hour 5/06/2013

young white men with guns

There have been so many of these incidents that it's useful to have timelines and maps just to keep track of these things.

WRR: Trans-Pacific Partnership

For the Old Mole Variety HourOctober 1, 2012

Oppose the TPP: http://stopthetrap.net/

http://www.publicknowledge.org/Tell-White-House-Ensure-OpennessTPP-IP-Chapter

 

On the Chicago Teacher's Strike

For the Old Mole Variety Hour 17 Sept 2012

Joanne Barkan in Dissent Magazine notes that,

Yes, schoolchildren in Chicago are victims, but not of their teachers. They are victims of a nationwide education “reform” movement geared to undermine teachers’ unions and shift public resources into private hands; they are victims of wave after wave of ill-conceived and failing policy “innovations”; they are victims of George Bush’s No Child Left Behind law, which turned inner-city public schools into boot camps for standardized test prep; they are victims of Barack Obama’s Race to the Top program, which paid states to use student test scores—a highly unreliable tool—for teacher evaluations and to lift caps on the number of privately managed charter schools, thus draining resources from public schools. Chicago’s children are victims of “mayoral control,” which allows Rahm Emanuel to run the school system, bully parents and teachers, and appoint a Board of Education dominated by corporate executives and political donors.

Heist and other movies about the financial crisis

On the 6 August 2012 Old Mole Variety Hour, Hyung Nam and I discuss Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?, a documentary directed by Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher, narrated by Thom Hartmann, and based in part on the book The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future—and What It Will Take to Win by Jeff Faux, founder of the Economic Policy Institute, and one of those who appears in the film. Heist is one of a number of recent documentaries about the current financial crisis. Movie moles have previously reviewed the documentaries Inside Job and Capitalism is the Crisis.

"Healthism"

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For the Old Mole Variety Hour, July 2, 2012

The term "healthism" is used in two different ways. In the more neutral or positive sense, it just refers to self-care, and if you do a web search for "healthism," some of the sites you'll find simply offer information about nutrition, exercise, home remedies, things like that. But the term also has a more negative sense, that arises from reflection on the very pervasiveness, but also narrowness and coerciveness, of that information about personal health.

Overaccumulation: Capital and Fat

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[audio here] The economic crisis that we face today, and that we are battling in Wisconsin, in Portland, and in occupations and activism around the world, is just an acute phase of one of the regular crises that capitalism faces.

Capitalism always needs to grow, to find new sources of profit, and regularly faces crises of "overaccumulation" when there are too few opportunities for generating profit. That leads to stagnation, and since the 1970s, capital has been battling stagnation and scrambling for new places to make money.

ALEC

[For the 21 May 12 Old Mole] We all know money in politics is a problem.  As Marx noted, "The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie." One of the strongest links between capital and the state came to greater public visibility last year when a trove of documents was leaked from the archive of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC; the Center for Media and Democracy has made those documents and a great deal of related information available on the website alec exposed dot org.

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