Political poetry from Skip Tenczar
Some Republicans say there’s no systemic racism,
And they express it with all-knowing straight face-ism.
But what on earth do they know?
Most are as white as the snow.
And their delusions are just a form of escapism.
Part one: a conversation with education reporter John Merrow
Think of Children as POW’s, and Act Accordingly.
John Merrow suggests that we think of our children as recently freed Prisoners of War who’ve been kept in isolation for months. They have endured unprecedented and often harrowing experiences, and they’ve also endured endless stretches of boredom. They now need time and space to process what they have been through. They need to learn how to be together. Basically, they need a safe way to re-enter society. He has several suggestions on how this can be done.
bio: John Merrow began his career as an education reporter with National Public Radio in 1974 and recently stepped down as President of Learning Matters, a non-profit production company in New York City. In 2012 he became the first journalist to be honored with the prestigious McGraw Prize in Education, often referred to as “education’s Nobel Prize.” Since 1984 Merrow has worked in public television as Education Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and as host of his own series of documentaries. His work has been recognized with Peabody Awards, Emmy nominations, four CINE Golden Eagles and other reporting awards. An occasional contributor to the opinion pages of USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Education Week, he is the author of The Influence of Teachers(2011) and Choosing Excellence (2001) and co-editor of Declining by Degrees (2005). He blogs weekly. Merrow lives in New York City with his wife.
Part two: a conversation with VOX co-authors Austin Frerick and Charles Mitchell
We discuss the current state of hog farming in Iowa with Austin Frerick and Charles Mitchell. This is a practice that is currently now well regulated, and thus full of abuses. The inhuman conditions, and the huge environmental impact of these practices is horrible. The communities where these huge hog raisers are based (most of Iowa) have polluted the ground water, the soil, and the air. Residents are trapped, because their properties are now worthless. What should be done: at least, a congressional hearing.
bio: Austin is the Deputy Director of the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale University, an initiative that brings together faculty, students, and scholars to collaborate on research related to competition policy and antitrust enforcement. He is also a Fellow at The Harkin Institute at Drake UniversityAustin is currently working on a book that argues for restoring the balance of power in the American food system in favor of farmers, workers, small businesses, and communities.Austin is a 7th generation Iowan from Cedar RapidsHe attended Grinnell College on merit scholarships and Pell Grants. While in college, Austin wrote two theses on corporate power in Iowa’s slaughterhouse communities. After being the first in his family to graduate from college, Austin attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for graduate school on a full academic scholarship.
bio: Charles Mitchell is Chicago-based journalist focused on agriculture, technology, food, rural politics, and climate. His work has appeared on Vox, The New Republic, The Baffler, and other websites. Browse his work here.Recently he has helped research and fact-check a book for Mark Bittman (you can read the Times review here), and organized farmer-labor solidarity for Wisconsin Farmers Union (which In These Times recently covered).--
The Hog Barons How Iowa’s largest hog producer courted power, turned farming into a numbers game, and transformed the American heartland.