Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for April, 2006


Law and Disorder May 1, 2006


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May Day Roundtable Discussion – Law and Disorder hosts talk with Annette Rubenstein, literary historian and author, Haymarket playwright Zayd Dorn, and Julie Ruben with the Brecht Forum. The discussion winds through historic labor movements in the last century, as Annette Rubenstein recollects the seldom heard stories of protests and labor demonstrations during the 1930s in New York City.

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Stanley Aronowitz joins in afterward to discuss the climate of the current labor movement and beyond. Aronowitz, professor of sociology, cultural studies, and urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center is also a veteran political activist and cultural critic and a passionate champion of organized labor.

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Catastrophic Climate Change Forum – We listen to a short segment from Dr. James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies speaking at the Catastrophic Climate Change Forum at Albany Law School, New York. This 9 minute segment from Hansen’s one hour presentation builds the case that global climate change is at a tipping point and emissions from power plants and vehicles are mainly to blame. Law and Disorder will air more from this forum in the programs to come.

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Law and Disorder April 24, 2006


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Big surveillance plans in New York City – Wireless cameras over Brooklyn and a virtual “Ring of Steel” for Lower Manhattan – More than 500 surveillance cameras are planned to be installed in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Hundreds of cameras will follow if New York City secures an $81.5 million federal grant from Homeland Security. The grant would fund a London-style “Ring of Steel” around Manhattan’s financial district that includes metal walls, military style guard posts and another wave of hi-tech surveillance equipment. NYC subways will also be set up with more cameras.

Co-Host Heidi Boghosian caught up with Surveillance Camera Tour Guide Bill Brown in downtown Manhattan. They discuss the implications of Homeland Security funding a massive influx of hi-tech security surveillance systems in New York City. Brown points out how most media have not been informed of details surrounding this build up of cameras.

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Jack Anderson Files - FBI desperately tries to obtain more than 180 boxes of notes and files from the late muckraking journalist Jack Anderson. Anderson who died last December from complications with Parkinson’s Disease, spent the last fifty years unearthing government misdeeds such as J.Edgar Hoover’s apparent ties to Mafia, the Savings and Loans scandal and the search for fugitive ex-Nazi officials in South America. Now, the Anderson family is in the process of transferring ownerships of the files to the George Washington University Library. The FBI would like to see them first however, the library and the Anderson family refuse.

The columnist’s son Kevin Anderson says the FBI expressed interest in documents that would aid the government’s case against two former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, who have been charged with disclosing classified information. The FBI also told the family “they planned to remove from the columnist’s archive, which has yet to be catalogued, any document they come across that is stamped “secret” or “confidential.”

Guest – George Washington University Librarian – Jack Siggins. Siggins also tells Law and Disorder hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Ratner that the FBI had asked to obtain library records and emails from faculty, staff and students of George Washington Library. Hosts suspect this type of inquiry has occurred at libraries across the country.

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Blackwater USA Law Suit – Private security firm Blackwater USA, a North Carolina-based private security company is being sued by four families of the private American security contractors who were ambushed by Sunni resistance in Falluja on March of 2004. Law and Disorder hosts speak with independent journalist Jeremy Scahill and attorney Marc Miles about the lawsuit. Read Jeremy Scahill’s investigative report in the Nation here.

From Jeremy Scahill’s article – “This is a precedent-setting case,” says Marc Miles, an attorney for the families. “Just like with tobacco litigation or gun litigation, once they lose that first case, they’d be fearful there would be other lawsuits to follow.”
Guest – Jeremy Scahill – Independent journalist who reports frequently for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!, has spent extensive time reporting from Iraq and Yugoslavia. He is currently at The Nation Institute on fellowship. He can be reached at jeremy@democracynow.org
Guest – Marc Miles – attorney for the families.
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Catastrophic Climate Change Forum – We listen to a short segment of senior attorney Donald Goldberg with the Center for Environmental Justice describe how 40 percent of the Arctic Polar ice cap has melted in the last few years and subsequent warming has destroyed Inuit habitat. Human rights litigation is underway to protect the Inuit. Other speakers included Dr. James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Hansen makes the case that global climate change is at the tipping point and emissions from power plants and vehicles are mainly to blame. Law and Disorder will air more from this forum in the programs to come.

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Law and Disorder April 17th, 2006


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Key Ruling Ahead for Death Penalty as mentally ill death row inmate Willie Brown is scheduled for execution by lethal injection this Friday April 21st . Learn more about the issue here. U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard will decide if prison officials have resolved issues concerning the amount of pain involved in lethal injection. However, anesthesiologists may not be willing to participate. The professional code of ethics for doctors simply states that doctors are healers, not executioners. If Howard rules that the state of North Carolina must use an anesthesiologist and none are willing, the use of the death penalty may re-examined. Co-host Dalia Hashad joins the Law and Disorder hosts from her DC office. Please Visit the Amnesty International Online Action Center to express your concern and call on the governor to commute Willie Brown’s death sentence.

Guest – Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn – Director of the Program to Abolish the Death Penalty – Amnesty International USA.

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In the months since Puerto Rican Independista Filiberto Ojeda Ríos was assassinated by the FBI, protesters are demonstrating in the streets against the lingering FBI presence in San Juan and other regions of Puerto Rico. Last month, federal agents executing search warrants on the homes of independentistas were captured on video pepper-spraying journalists covering the story, with seemingly little or no provocation, further fueling anti-FBI sentiment. On February 10th, the FBI executed six search warrants on independence movement leaders to prevent ”a potential domestic terrorist attack” against ”privately owned interests in Puerto Rico,” according to an FBI statement. Law and Disorder hosts update listeners on this under-reported story.

Guest – Charlie Hay-Mestre – Civil Rights Attorney in Puerto Rico and board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He is also part of the investigating team looking into the murder of Filiberto Ojeda Rios.

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NSA Spying on Attorneys – CCR attorney Shane Kadidal speaks with Law and Disorder hosts about the near certainty of the government eavesdropping on conversations with attorneys and clients at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Co-Host Michael Ratner updates listeners on the recent story of AT&T funneling all internet traffic through NSA. Read it here.

Guest – Shane Kadidal – Center for Constitutional Rights.

Co-host Michael Ratner references the Salon article Read the Salon article here.

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Law and Disorder April 10, 2006


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Co-Host Dalia Hashad announces her new position with Amnesty International to Law and Disorder listeners. Dalia is the director of the USA program for human rights with Amnesty International.

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Racial Profiling - Hosts discuss the undercurrents of racism embedded in the fabric of daily life in the United States. As in Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s recent experience, Law and Disorder co-host, Dalia Hashad shares her own experience with listeners of what happened at the Houston Airport restaurant, Bubba’s Seafood Grill.

Racial Profiling in Georgia. – Update on the targeting of South Asian convenient store owners in Rome, Georgia. Click here to get involved to help stop the targeting of South Asian store owners in Georgia. – Stop Operation Meth Merchant

Guest – Vanita Gupta – with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

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Venezuelan Justice Fernando Ram?n Vegas Torrealba of the Supreme Court of Venezuela - In 1999, the Venezuelan people approved by popular vote a new constitution which includes many guarantees for formerly excluded sectors of society – the work of women in the home is recognized as contributing economic value and entitling them to social security; a worker’s right to a wage that provides a life with dignity is recognized; the rights of indigenous people and minorities are protected; and health care is a guaranteed right. Provisions are made for the protection of the environment. Political freedoms such as expression and assembly are articulated. Oil and mineral wealth is claimed as the property of the Venezuelan republic and new legislation has been passed that designates a portion of the profits from the oil industry to public welfare – health care, housing, low cost food and worker cooperatives. Private as well as cooperative forms of property ownership are recognized.

Guest – Justice Vegas Torrealba will discuss this new constitution and describes vivid first hand account of the US involvement during the 2002 coup de tat attempt. Justice also says that during the coup attempt US military ships were docked near the coast of Venezuela. Vegas says they were jamming cell phone signals, blacking out a swath of communication.

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The International Endowment for DemocracyBertel Ollman - Bertell Ollman is a professor of politics at NYU, and has written and edited over a dozen books, including Alienation: Marx’s Conception of Man in Capitalist Society, Social and Sexual Revolution: Essays on Marx and Reich, Dialectical Investigations, How to Take an Exam…and Remake the World, and most recently Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method.

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Law and Disorder April 3, 2006


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Host Discussion on recent Supreme Court arguments regarding the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan. Hamdan, a Yemeni who was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, is charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes, murder and terrorism. He claims he is an innocent father of two young daughters and worked as a driver for bin Laden in Afghanistan only to provide for his family. Co-host Michael Ratner also references Justice Antonin Scalia’s speech regarding war criminals and detainees. Scalia was recently asked to stay out of the case involving international detainees because of remarks such as this one “… if they were shooting at my son, and I’m not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial.”

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Suspicious Robbery at the Brecht Forum. Two inexpensive database computers were stolen from the offices at the Brecht. Hosts Michael Smith and Michael Ratner say it has all the ear marks of an intelligence gathering black-bag job. Hosts talk with the Executive Director of the Brecht Forum, Liz Mestres and also attorney Margaret Ratner-Kunstler about this robbery and suspicious robberies of progressive law offices in the past.
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Massive Demonstrations – Tens of thousands of students across the country staged walk outs last week protesting recent immigration reform proposals in the House that introduce sweeping changes for undocumented immigrants. More than 8000 students walked out of their LA county schools and thousands more in Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Texas. In Washington DC, activists and religious leaders also protested measures in House Bill 4437 that would make it a crime for religious and charitable groups to aid undocumented workers.

Guest – Jim Lafferty – Executive Director of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild and host of the Guild Radio Show on Pacifica’s KPFK.

Guest – Cynthia Anderson Barker – Los Angeles attorney

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