In a jam-packed program full of abundant insight, Ralph first welcomes back Dar Jamail to discuss his work “We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth” about what we can learn from indigenous people who have survived incredible disruptions to the climate to their families and to their way of life. Then Karen Friedman from the Pension Rights Center gives us an update on how they are fighting to save our hard-earned money. And finally, Cal Berkeley grad students, Sandra Oseguera and Jesus Gutierrez explain the university’s “inverted priorities” as it spends millions of dollars on football coaches’ salaries and real estate while shutting down campus libraries.
Dahr Jamail is the author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, as well as The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption. He is co-editor (with Stan Rushworth) of We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth.
One of the themes of the book is the difference between the Western settler-colonialist mindset of: What are my rights? I have my rights. Versus a more Indigenous perspective that we came across time and again in the book of: We have two primary obligations that we are born into. One is the obligation to serve and be a good steward of the planet. The other obligation is to serve future generations of all species. So, if I focus on my obligations, it’s very very clear that I have plenty of work to do in service to those. If I focus only on my rights, I’m going to be chronically frustrated.
Dahr Jamail, editor of We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth
Karen Friedman is the Executive Director of the Pension Rights Center. She develops solutions and implements strategies to protect and promote the rights of consumers, and for more than 20 years has represented their interests in the media and before congressional committees.
Social Security is the strongest system we have. While opponents of Social Security have tried to undermine confidence in its future, the truth is that Social Security is one of the most universal, efficient, secure, and fair sources of retirement income…It’s not going broke, folks. It's a great system. That’s all propaganda, meant to scare the bejesus out of you.
Sandra Oseguera and Jesús Gutierrez are graduate students in the Anthropology department at The University of California, Berkeley. Last month, campus administration announced their plan to close the Anthropology Library, one of only three dedicated Anthropology libraries in the US. In response, stakeholders including students and faculty have organized to demand that the Anthropology Library be protected and fully supported by the University.
[Fighting to save the library] has been a wonderful experience of community and collaboration among many stakeholders. However, we the grad students see ourselves as the keepers and also the main users of [the Anthropology Library’s] collection because all of our research really relies on the resources that are there.
The library is a really valuable space. It’s not only a space for simply going in and accessing a book. It’s also a space of encounter. The kind of thing that the University is trying to destroy is essentially this possibility for having a happenstance run-in with a book that you may not necessarily have intended to type into the catalog system or with a person who you may not otherwise run into.
The situation at Berkeley has become grotesquely inverted, in terms of the University. They have millions for football and other sports and paying coaches huge salaries. They have millions for administrative officials. But they want to shut down one of the great Anthropology libraries in the Western World.
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This content originally appeared on Ralph Nader Radio Hour and was authored by Ralph Nader.