On tonight's Political Analysis, as the corporate media talks about Americans "trying to make sense" of a senseless mass killing, Sandy LeonVest is joined by author, teacher and peace activist Dr. Randall Amster to take a deeper look at the December 14, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school. They explore a number of issues surrounding the tragedy that are not being addressed in the corporate news media. Among them: whether our current militaristic, consumer culture is making us sick -- and/or contributing to the (literal) "dis-integration" of our most vulnerable young people; the concept of "cognitive dissonance" (anxiety resulting from holding contradictory or incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or standards) and whether the deep disconnect between how parents, teachers and political leaders tell young people to behave, and how they themselves behave is feeding the current epidemic of depression, suicide, bullying and PTSD in young people. They discuss the ways in which our culture of 24-7 images -- via computers, television, video games and other hi-tech toys and gadgets -- impact vulnerable young people in ways they (and the adults around them) often fail to see.
Tonight on Political Analysis, Sandy LeonVest spends the first half-hour of the show connecting the dots between the utter failure of the UN-sponsored international climate talks in Doha (COP 18), America's "natural gas boom" (code for more hydrofracking) and cheaper gas (in the US) just in time for consumers to enjoy the holidays, as they drive off the "climate cliff."
Lisa Maldonado, executive director at the Northbay Labor Council (California) joins Sandy during the second half-hour to talk about the so-called "Right to Work" initiatives currently taking the nation by storm -- and what looks to be a major battle brewing between labor unions and corporate legislators on both sides of the political aisle.
Karyn Strickler guest hosts and discusses the legislative effort to stop the devastating practice of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. It’s called the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act. The ACHE Act, as it’s appropriately nicknamed, focuses on the need to protect people from what advocates call a growing, urgent health emergency -- caused by mountaintop removal coal mining.
Today we have two super stars of the anti-mountaintop removal movement, a leader in the effort to pass the ACHE Act, and a professor who studies the disperate health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on the Appalachian people’s lives and health, with exponentially higher rates of birth defects, cancer, heart disease and death among those living near MTR sites.
Bo Webb’s work to end mountaintop removal coal mining has been called -- fearless and inspiring. In 2010 Webb, a grandfather, Vietnam veteran and coal miner’s son was the recipient of the prestigious Purpose Prize, recognizing social entrepreneurs over 60. He is a member of Coal River Mountain Watch. He is a co-founder of Mountain Justice Summer and was a lead organizer in Appalachia Rising Washington DC 2010.
Michael Hendryx - is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy, Management, and Leadership in the School of Public Health at West Virginia University. Dr. Hendryx is also the Director of the West Virginia Rural Health Research Center, which conducts research on environmental health for rural populations.