Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Boise Community Radio’

Jeff Abrams of Boise Community Radio and Lupito Flores of KYRS Spokane have teamed up to make the case for financial support of independent, noncommercial radio projects like theirs for the latest newsletter from Social Justice Fund.

Here is an excerpt:

After lifting a decade-long application freeze, the FCC has recently awarded a wave of noncommercial broadcast licenses for grassroots organizations to establish new locally programmed, community-based radio stations across the country. These groups now have a powerful opportunity to use the ubiquitous nature of radio to re-connect communities – giving citizens their voice back and establishing new resources as indispensable as any city park, library or firehouse. Among other benefits, these new facilities will empower listeners and nonprofit groups by expanding awareness and mobilization capacity on local issues such as freedom of speech, women’s issues, cultural identity, arts and humanities, public health, environment, disability awareness, social welfare, and public governance.

Many new licensees have also recently received federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce to build these facilities. However, these awards are generally tied to a 25% local matching funds requirement.

Read the complete piece at the Social Justice Fund website.

Read Full Post »

LPFM bill passes House subcommittee 15 to 1 from Prometheus Radio

Boise Community Radio federal grant match fundraising begins

KYRS Spokane going full-power with federal grant

Browser is new iPod, mobile app is new CD from Media Futurist

(more…)

Read Full Post »

After well over 100 hours of community radio, Digital Crossroads aired for the last time on Boise Community Radio, Radio Free Moscow and other stations in May.

Stay tuned for transcriptions and audio highlights in the coming months.

Read Full Post »

I had to run a repeat show last week… So finishing this was a relief.
CLICK HERE to download or stream Digital Crossroads, produced live by Radioactive Gavin in the studio at Boise Community Radio, and carried by affiliates Radio Free Moscow and Media Island Olympia.

This week’s show features stories on rural broadband, the criminal Bush administration, and the future of the music industry. Relevant links:

  • Megan Tady’s video work on the digital divide for Internet for Everyone
  • John Eggerton’s article on adding broadband to the Universal Service Fund
  • Eric Alterman’s article on the Bush Justice Department’s secret evildoings
  • Michael Arrington’s lunch conversation with anonymous record executive
  • Geeky details of the new webcasting royalty settlements
  • Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins testified to Congress about radio royalties

Read Full Post »

Touch the Sky with Radioactive Gavin now airs Sundays only, from 10am-Noon MST on Boise Community Radio. Our new program schedule will be posted on the Radio Boise website soon. Here’s the playlist for the 2/15 show.

Always On A Sunday – Frank Anderson, Tommy McCook    1964
Ranglin On Bond Street – Tommy McCook    1969
Cold Weather – Lee “Scratch” Perry    1973
Ras Menilik Congo (Harp)    – Augustus Pablo
Lights Went Out – Alice Russell    2008
Percy On The One – Clutchy Hopkins    2008
Darling Corey – Charlie Louvin, Andrew Bird     2009
Tape Eater – tobacco    2008
Strategy Of Tension – Filastine    2008
Solko – Dosh        2008
Before You Know I’m Gone – Electricwest    2008
Wonder No More – Andy & Joey    1965
Bu-Seki – DJ Krush & Toshinori Kondo    1999
Africa – Jazz Jamaica    1993
Shocking Dub – Linton Kwesi Johnson    1980
Go To Work – Polka Dot Dot Dot    2008
Antiquity – Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson    2009
Bugle Call Outdoors – Sound Effects
— Monopoly Money segment —
— clip from Cultural Baggage —
— music: Monopoly Money – Take (2008) —
byrdshot and bye – dimlite
S.O.S.    – Cosiner    2004
So So Tough    – Nominal I    2007
Para Ti – Mongo Santamaría    1999
Back Doorbell – Daedelus    2003
Ride Your Donkey – The Tennors    1968
Five Hundred An Ounce – Reefer        2008
Wanna Get High? – Naoto Yamazaki    2007
—Funny Austin segment—
— clip from Tracey Ashley —
—music: Pelican – Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada (2008) —
Guiding Resolution    – Poets Of Rhythm    2001
Dejame Dormir – Aether    2008
Pivot – Kris Doty    2007
Dead Beat – Lake    2008
(2 songs live in Bozeman, MT)    Josh Martinez    2008
Leisure Suite – Feist    2004
If You Were Alone – Roger O’Donnell    2008

You can CLICK HERE to listen online or download the show.

Read Full Post »

On Monday February 9, Digital Crossroads featured an interview with Reclaim the Media executive director Jonathan Lawson.

Listen to the entire 30-minute show, hosted by Radio Active Gavin, by clicking HERE. The show airs live at 9pm MST on Boise Community Radio, which is streaming at RadioBoise.org 24 hours a day.

Reclaim the Media has started a grassroots public assistance phone line in Seattle to provide answers to folks with DTV problems. SeattleDTV.com is such a unique project, Lawson says local TV stations are actually referring folks to them.

Also on the show, the Internet radio royalties debate enters its final week for negotiation. Plus, Congressmen in the House and Senate have re-introduced bills to begin charging AM and FM stations a new performance royalty. It would only amount to $1000 annually for small community radio stations like Boise Community Radio or Free Radio Moscow, but half of that money will go straight to the record companies. The broadcasting lobby is calling it a bailout for the record industry.

Read Full Post »

The first hour of the Touch the Sky radio show on Boise Community Radio today consists of a full re-broadcast of the latest episode of Quiet Please, produced by Travis Owens. Quiet Please airs Saturday nights at 11pm on RadioBoise.org and this one is so brilliant and effective I decided to showcase Travis’ efforts for a few more ears. Audio of his show will be available here on the Radioactive Gavin blog in the future.

The second hour of the show features the Monopoly Money segment, featuring music by Take. Today’s segment is focused on the NORML contest and the “news” (as revealed by the idiots at News of the World) that Gold Medalist Michael Phelps likes to take bong hits. He has more Gold Medals than there are intelligent people who could be bothered by this. Super Bowl viewers and NFL fans have likely heard Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and punt returner Santonio Holmes smokes herb too. What do you think?

NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, is hosting a video competition. Vote by Sunday night February 8th for your favorite 3 videos. I voted for my friend Robert Kam’s video “20 Millionth Marijuana Arrest” as well as (more…)

Read Full Post »

David Barsamian’s Alternative Radio airs at 9am, followed by my music show Touch the Sky from 10am to Noon. The 12 o’clock hour features Gourmets with Chef Robert and then Listen Up NW! produced by the Northwest Community Radio Network. At 1pm, check out DJ Gia hosting the indie spotlight show Go Northwest Young Man. From 2-4pm, DJs Kathy O and Stephanie bring you Amalgamated Coup, mixing metal, country, noise, global, dance, hip hop, kitsch and freak folk.

Kathy O from Neurolux rockin' wax

Kathy O from Neurolux rockin' wax

Sundays from 4-6pm a team of community radio volunteers take turns hosting New, Indie, Local, On Tour which mixes and matches songs in these categories with guest DJs and live performances. Recent guests have included Universal bass player Matt and the entire crew from Smooth Old-Fashioned High.

60% of Smooth Old Fashioned High

60% of Smooth Old Fashioned High

Eric from Finn Riggins will be on with hosts Amanda and Tim on January 25th. Future guests include Kris Doty and some guy from Built to Spill.

Boise Community Radio doesn’t stop there! At 6pm Pete Adams brings you two hours on his Blue Highway. 8pm Sunday is Noise Cave with Dustin. When they bother to show up at the studio, That Guy and Lady Kramps bring you The Bout- Treasure Valley Roller Girls radio Sunday nights from 9-11pm. And then our man Maury K from Minnesota cranks it up for Hard and/or Heavy. He’s been on the DL but we expect him back any week now…

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, RadioBoise.org is the place to be on Sundays.

Read Full Post »

All five guys from Smooth Old-Fashioned High played live on Boise Community Radio Sunday January 11th. They were guest DJs and performed a few acoustic songs for us. From the left: Eric Ingersol, singer Pat Crozier, back side of Nick McDowell, part of Evan Reed’s shaved head, and Russ Lodge spacing out on the drums…

smootholdfashioned

(more…)

Read Full Post »

I did a tough yet inspiring interview with Gordon Fuller of the Idaho State Independent Living Council and the Disability Media Initiative, which will air on the next Digital Crossroads, debuting Monday 730pm MST on the stream at RadioBoise.org you know!

Driving Gordon crazy?

Driving Gordon crazy?

We were fortunate enough to get time and a quiet place at the Boise Center on The Grove for recording a long interview. Gordon reminds me of me, he can talk about his passion for changing the powerful media institutions all day. I have some editing to do for the show! More on what he was doing in town, and what is happening with the Idaho Legislature budget cuts on the next Digital Crossroads! Tune in to Boise Community Radio and Radio Free Moscow.

Read Full Post »

In an unusual live Wednesday morning broadcast, I finally produced the 2nd episode of Digital Crossroads of the year. I’ve been reading and highlighting and writing about Gaza. This show is about thinking critically before you trust what you read in the news.

Funeral at UN school struck by Israel

Funeral at UN school struck by Israel

Below you can click to listen to the 30-minute show as it aired on Boise Community Radio and Radio Free Moscow. If you make it all the way through the show, please check out the additional 10 minutes I did live this morning on RadioBoise.org covering Obama’s support from the “defense lobby” as well as reports inside Gaza. Hear from Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian human rights activist, and from Sameh Habeb, a Palestinian photographer. More links and photos after the jump.

To download or stream the show, click here- Gaza: Wake Up America (mp3)

Check out an additional 10 minutes here- DC 2009 B-Side (mp3)

In a story published Jan. 9th by Alternet from New America Media, Shane Bauer covers “What You’d Know About Israel if you Watched Al Jazeera TV.”

He writes, the 350 reporters who descended on Israel when the conflict began are stuck at the border between Israel and Gaza. Instead of giving their viewers up-close pictorial evidence of what is occurring in Gaza, television networks have been restricted to showing their viewers plumes of smoke as they rise in the distance.

“There is nowhere safe in Gaza,” an enraged John Ging, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza told Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros in front of the Al Shifa hospital Thursday. Those words came after the Israeli Defense Forces bombed a UN school that was being used as a refuge. Later in the day, a second UN school was struck by the Israelis, killing at least 40. Ging insisted, “Everyone here is terrorized and traumatized and they have the right to be because there is no safe haven… This violence needs to stop now. Neither side can wait for the other to stop first.”

Meanwhile the world’s only live coverage of the tragedy is kept away from American eyes. While Al Jazeera English competes with CNN and BBC as one of the largest networks in the world, no major American cable provider has been willing to carry the channel since it launched in 2006. But Al Jazeera is finding its way around the problem. Today, Americans can download Livestation, a free program that wil let viewers watch Al Jazeera English and other international networks.

Here’s a timeline looking back at news you likely haven’t seen if you have depended on US network TV and corporate newspapers over the past 2 weeks…

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Today was my first day as a substitute teacher with Boise Public Schools. I was lucky to land a gig teaching high school English at Frank Church High. Not only that, but I was teaching New Journalism! As you can see on the board I decided to play along after the front office printed me a name tag reading, “Mr. Gavin.”

still smiling by 3rd period

still smiling by 3rd period

(more…)

Read Full Post »

I had so much fun programming this morning’s Touch the Sky on Boise Community Radio. Here is the playlist… song artist album

you still believe in me m ward transistor radio
Sophia’s Lullaby Ernest Gonzales While on Saturn’s Rings
Introduction Quantic The 5th Exotic
La Lucha Sigue Adrian Quesada & Ocote Soul Sounds El Niño Y El Sol
Sarinda Solo Afghanistan Traditional Musicians – Afghanistan
friendly fire sharpshooters twice as nice
To Know You Gift Of Gab 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up
Indian Love Call Tommy McCook Real Cool
Time Is The Enemy Quantic The 5th Exotic
Heartbroken Forever Tender Forever Wider
Polar Opposites Modest Mouse Live at KVRX 3/2000
Everything Is Free Gillian Welch Time (The Revelator)
Nhimutimu John Kunaka Zimbabwe: Soul Of Mbira: Traditions of Shona People
Anti Love Song Betty Davis This Is It!
detroit twice el michels affair 7″
lily manu dibango 7″
Dog It Digable Planets Beyond The Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronic
Only U Felt Like Home Gabriel Teodros, Khingz, Castro Westlake Class Of 1999
Humdrum Headspin Daedelus Throw A Fit – EP

Monopoly Money: clip from Super High Me with Doug Benson, music by Take

here we go sharpshooters twice as nice
My Lady’s House Iron & Wine Woman King
Oh, The Places We’ll Go Lake Oh, The Places We’ll Go
Touch Your Body (live) Josh Martinez Live in Bozeman
Miraculous Technique Belle + Sebastian BBC Sessions
Collecting Rocks Super XX Man Volume 6
I Get My Whiskey From Rockingham Dickel Brothers Volume Two

Austin is Funny: John Evans, music by Echo Base

Listen to John Evans CLICK HERE

La Familia Mirah You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This
sea of love cat power 10/3/98 live at kvrx
Love’s a Real Thing Super Eagles World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 3
Outro Dj Take Third Story (12”)
Back In Baby’s Arms Patsy Cline 12 Greatest Hits

The show airs Sundays 10am-Noon MST on RadioBoise.org and repeats Wednesday 9-11am. Let me know if you like the comedy. I’m going to feature a short clip from a different Austin comedian every week from now on. Austin really is funny. Watch, you’ll believe me if you check back.

Read Full Post »

Mush Records is celebrating 10 years as a dope record label by offering free downloads of a mix of their best artists. Producer/DJ/nice guy Thavius Beck has offered up choice selections from Mush’s vault and tonight Boise Community Radio presents the first of a two-part series on our weekly program Early Bedtime.

photo by Eric Pilz

photo by Eric Pilz

Check out Early Bedtime every Saturday night at 10pm on RadioBoise after The Wreck with DJ Jason D at 9 and before Quiet Please with Travis Owens at 11. Part two of the mix will debut January 24th. Go get it yourself at Mush’s website.

Read Full Post »

The first Digital Crossroads of the year premiered Monday evening on Boise Community Radio. Listen to host and producer Radioactive Gavin focus on Fake News and Propaganda.

Download or stream the entire 30-minute program by clicking here… Digital Crossroads Fake News and Propaganda.

To view the spoof New York Times, go HERE.

If you want to hear the entire interview with Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men, click HERE.

To view the Indecision 2008 video, go HERE.

Music on the show is used with permission from Ooah, The Tasteful Nudes, Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada, and Ernest Gonzales.

Here is the transcript for Digital Crossroads 2009 Episode 1:

(more…)

Read Full Post »

gavinbrucewirth

Bruce Wirth is General Manager at KSER community radio in Everett, Washington. He has been working in media advocating progressive change in the northwest for more than a decade. He helped create Voices of Diversity and One World Report when he worked at KBCS community radio in Bellevue and dedicated countless hours honing the vision and strategy while sitting on the Board of Real Change News in Seattle. We met for lunch last Monday in Everett at Zippy’s Java Lounge. The KSER signal reaches most of Snohomish County and beyond. Bruce is supportive of Boise Community Radio, and knows how hard it can be to raise funds necessary to make great non-commercial radio.

Read Full Post »

Download or stream HERE the Digital Crossroads originally airing 11/14/08.

The Alliance for Community Media West held its annual conference in Denver, Colorado in late October. Denver Open Media hosted the festivities. Digital Crossroads takes you there, with clips recorded on site. Today’s show is an examination of the relevance of community media and the value of youth media literacy.

Denver Open Media is unique. According to Executive Director Tony Shawcross, featured toward the end of the show, on their main channel content might air ten times, but at Denver Open Media viewers can vote as they watch and on the website. The material that is most popular airs on the highlights channel, Channel 57.

Much of the discussion at this year’s conference drove home the point that Public, Educational & Government access or PEG channels must be thinking of ways to modernize. The idea of Cable Access 2.0 is a serious attempt by community television to stay relevant.

Free Speech TVFree Speech TV CEO Dennis Moynihan makes a lunch time presentation, highlighting many programs carried by cable access stations, including his former employer Democracy Now. ACM Western Region Board Chair J Robertson watches the clip.

Today’s show features audio clips from Daniel Weinshenker, who hosted a 90-minute presentation called Digital Storytelling. You can download or stream my audio recording of his entire presentation by clicking HERE. He is director of the Denver office of the non-profit Center for Digital Storytelling.

You will also hear from youth working in access media production. Plus, staff members from Denver Open Media discuss youth media literacy and Glam Camp, the teen girl multimedia production camp.

Beth McConnellBeth McConnell explained how policy advocacy can shape community media’s future. The Media & Democracy Coalition is made up of more than two dozen non-profits who are networking to change the media.

Music on this week’s show by Ooah, The Tasteful Nudes & Gabriel Teodros.

Ann TheisSpecial thanks to Ann Theis, who brings joy and dedication to Denver Open Media. Great people, great materials, great conference! My radio show is produced for Boise Community Radio, KRFP Moscow and other great non-commercial broadcasters. Contact me if you would like to hear the show on your local radio station.

Read Full Post »

Digital Crossroads is a weekly radio show, now in its 3rd year, new every Friday.

Today, a look back at election day from a unique perspective. Marge Heins is a great writer and veteran attorney with real experience at the Supreme Court. Her book Not in Front of the Children is required reading if you want to know the modern history of American broadcast censorship. I spoke with her on the phone Wednesday November 5th, the day after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the FCC vs. Fox “fleeting expletives” case.

Hear her expert opinion about what the Supremes will decide and how it will affect free speech over the airwaves in America. Then stay tuned for a look at what we can expect from a Barack Obama administration’s technology policy, including who will be running the Federal Communications Commission next year. Plus at the end of the show, hear what Studs Terkel, who died October 31st at the age of 96, had to say about Obama.

Listen or download HERE. Edited for FM broadcast.

  • Bleeped from 3:05 to 3:10 “Fuck” “Shit”
  • Bleeped from 8:40 to 8:45 “Fucking Brilliant”
  • Bleeped from 9:30 to 9:45 “Bullshitter” “All Fucked Up”
  • Bleeped from 11 to 11:30 “Fuck Em” “Cow Shit” “Bullshit” “Bullshitter”

notinfrontofthechildrenMarjorie Heins is a lawyer, activist, writer, and founder of the Free Expression Policy Project. Heins founded and directed the Arts Censorship Project at the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991-1998 and was co-counsel on the ACLU’s Reno v. ACLU brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately led to striking the Communications Decency Act as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Here are some highlights from her great piece about her latest trip to the Supreme Court, published on the Free Expression Policy Project website…

Although Justices Roberts and Scalia dominated the November 4 argument, Justices David Souter and John Paul Stevens joined Justice Ginsburg in expressing skepticism about the fleeting expletives rule. Justice Stevens, the author of Pacifica 30 years ago, asked Acting Solicitor General Gregory Garre, who argued for the FCC, if the Commission takes into consideration whether the use of an expletive is funny. Garre repeated the FCC’s frequent litany about “context”: the agency takes everything into account – audience, time of time, whether the language was gratuitous or pandering. Scalia then quipped: “So a bawdy joke is okay if it’s really good?”

This led to a colloquy about what language, if any, would be more “shocking” to children. Garre asserted that the Cher and Richie comments were indecent because there is more harm to children when a celebrity says these words. Chief Justice Roberts agreed: according to him, this is very different from a soldier shouting expletives in Saving Private Ryan “when your head is being blown off.” Carter Phillips, arguing for Fox, seemed astounded, replying: “It can’t be that the FCC can determine that a child has a different reaction in the two situations.” And in response to a hypothetical in which Roberts seemed to think that a football player yelling expletives would be okay under the FCC’s “contextual” analysis, Phillips pointed out that football players are celebrities too.

Only Justice Ginsburg seemed in favor of addressing head-on the First Amendment problem with a government agency’s shifting, subjective, often whimsical censorship decisions. “This whole argument has an air of futility,” she told Garre. “The Second Circuit more than tipped its hand. Is there a way we can say this issue is before us now”; that we should not ignore “the elephant in the room”? Whether four other justices will agree with her remains to be seen, but Souter, Stevens, and Kennedy – the most likely votes for a free speech-friendly result – did not seem eager to reach the First Amendment question. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said nothing at all.

The most likely outcome is a decision on the statutory issue only, either affirming or reversing the Second Circuit – that is, either deciding that the fleeting expletives rule was adequately justified or agreeing with the Second Circuit that it is “arbitrary and capricious,” and sending the case back to the agency for further deliberation. The latter result is in a sense the least palatable, because then the indecency regime as a whole would remain in effect indefinitely, while the FCC reconsiders its fleeting expletives rule.

A reversal on the statutory issue would give the Second Circuit an opportunity to transform its “dicta” into a holding that either the fleeting expletives rule or the entire indecency regime violates the First Amendment. This would almost surely be followed by a Supreme Court showdown on the issue.

But there is another possibility. An Obama administration could decide that it no longer makes sense to devote federal government resources to the FCC’s deliberations on whether American children need to be shielded from hearing an occasional “bullshit” or “fuck ’em” on network television.

cher

More about the Supreme Court election day expletives

Jess Bravin, Wall St. Journal:
Last year, a federal appeals court in New York struck down a 2004 Federal Communications Commission rule penalizing the broadcast of “fleeting expletives.” That court found the FCC had been “arbitrary and capricious” in abandoning its prior policy, under which it generally ruled that isolated vulgarisms weren’t enough to trigger the legal standard of indecency.

Chief Justice John Roberts asked how the FCC justified punishing some programs for airing a fleeting expletive, while clearing the CBS “Early Show” when it broadcast a vulgarism uttered by a reality-show contestant.

“The commission has determined that news programs would be treated differently,” Mr. Garre said, “because of the different values present in that situation.” For the same reason, he said the FCC wouldn’t punish broadcast of a news report on the Supreme Court argument itself, even if it included the words at issue.

Greg Stohr, Bloomberg:
Defenders of the FCC rule call it a needed step to combat a sharp increase in profanity on broadcast television. Just last week Philadelphia Phillies player Chase Utley, at a televised rally celebrating the team’s World Series victory, shouted, “World champions, world fucking champions.”

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at one point, observed that the whole case has an “air of futility” because, if the court just decides the narrow administrative issue, the First Amendment problem is still “the elephant in the room.”

Justice Ginsburg can’t understand why an expletive-rich broadcast of Saving Private Ryan was spared the FCC’s wrath while a program about the history of jazz was tagged for indecency. “There’s very little rhyme or reason which one of these words is OK and which isn’t,” she tuts.

Neither Scalia nor Roberts will accept the argument that there is some higher standard to be met for administrative regulation just because speech is involved.

It’s hard to say how this all shakes out. Three justices say very little. Two clearly favor granting the FCC even more standardless discretion. The rest keep offering peanuts to the elephant in the room. It’s a safe bet that the court will try to stick to the narrow administrative question, despite the justices’ itch to talk dirty. Mostly, though, it’s a bitterly disappointing day for those of us who’d looked forward to hearing some filthy words at the high court. But, having run the whole case through the FCC’s highly subjective, context-based smut filter, I did come up with the following list of dirty words from today’s arguments: Briefs. Golden globes. First blow. Dung. Pipeline. Jolly-woggle. Perhaps it’s true that the Supreme Court can take away our F-bomb. But they cannot touch our dirty, dirty minds.

11/4/08 Email to Common Cause Media Reform and other lists-
The Court was surprisingly unsympathetic to the broadcasters’ arguments that the FCC had been too aggressive and inconsistent in its new enforcement of the indecency rules. In particular, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia seemed completely unsympathetic to any argument that the FCC had overstepped its bounds. While there were a few concerns expressed about the inconsistency of the FCC’s decision, it didn’t seem to be swaying a majority of the court. So it seems that Martin’s regime might get upheld.

So, it is not a good day for those of us who have been concerned that whether you agree or disagree with the FCC’s decision to regulate indecency in the first place, the current regime has been unpredictable and threatening particularly for smaller broadcasters who can get caught by FCC’s new increased fines and vague standards. On the other hand, for everyone who was concerned that the Court could take this opportunity to undermine the constitutional justification for regulating broadcasting altogether, we will likely live to fight another day.

Of course, all of this is just a prediction based on oral argument and oral argument is never completely clear. The decision won’t likely come out until next year and, theoretically a decision could wait as long as the end of the term next summer. –Cheryl Leanza, Policy Director, United Church of Christ

Obama 2008
Obama Tech Policy in 2009

President-elect Barack Obama could name current Democratic FCC commissioners Jonathan Adelstein or Michael Copps to the position of the agency’s chairman. There has also been speculation he will name a chairman from outside the FCC, with the following names floating around: Julius Genachowski, Lawrence Strickling, Don Gips and Blair Levin. For the record, I’ve never heard of any of these men either.

There is a very interesting dynamic at the Federal Communications Commission right now, because of how the political appointments there work. Commissioner Adelstein and Republican commissioner Deborah Tate have not been reconfirmed by the Senate, even though their terms have expired. President Bush renominated both of them to five-year terms, forcing Democrats in the Senate to avoid voting before the August recess.

If Republican Chairman Kevin Martin opts not to retire, as chairmen customarily do when the Presidency changes parties, the Republicans would hold onto a three-member majority on the five-member commission. Obama names the new chairman either way, but holding off on Tate’s nomination assures Democrats of an immediate FCC majority next year.

In terms of policy, David Oxenford writes November 4th on Broadcast Law Blog Obama will likely deliver on his promise to appoint a Chief Technology Officer as a cabinet-level position to deal with technology and communications. Obama is also expected, Oxenford writes, “to look for ways to encourage minorities and other new entrants into broadcast ownership.” Oxenford also expects, “regulation that imposes some public interest obligations on broadcasters.”

President-elect Obama has named tech executives to his transition team, according to CNET. Julius Genachowski previously served as chief counsel to former Democratic FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, as well as working for InterActiveCorp, an investment firm and co-founding a venture capital organization. Sonal Shah works for the philanthropy division at Google.

CNET reporter Martin LaMonica writes November 5th that Obama is expected to be the first green high-tech president. Clean tech under Obama will include less controversial ideas such as:

  • An investment in upgrading the power grid which would make it easier to use solar and wind.
  • A national renewable portfolio standard that mandates utilities get 10 percent of electricity from solar, wind, or geothermal by 2012.
  • Continued support for biofuels and introduction of low-carbon fuel standard.
  • Increased fuel-efficiency standards and tax rebates for plug-in hybrids.

However Obama has also pledged some more controversial plans, namely:

  • A carbon cap-and-trade regime meant to make low-carbon technologies more price competitive.
  • Research on so-called clean coal technologies to store carbon dioxide emissions underground.

realchange
Democracy Now host Amy Goodman is skeptical about these and other Obama policy plans that could potentially bring huge profits to corporations. In her weekly syndicated column, entitled Organizer in Chief published November 6th by Truth Dig, Amy Goodman writes:

Before heading over to Grant Park in Chicago, Sen. Obama sent a note (texted and e-mailed) to millions of supporters. It read, in part: “We just made history. And I don’t want you to forget how we did it. … We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.” But it isn’t enough for people now to sit back and wait for instructions from on high. It was 40 years ago in that very same place, Grant Park, that thousands of anti-war protesters gathered during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, demanding an end to the Vietnam War. Many from that generation now celebrate the election of an African-American president as a victory for the civil rights movement that first inspired them to action decades ago. And they celebrate the man who, early on, opposed the Iraq war, the pivotal position that won him the nomination, that ultimately led to his presidential victory.

Another son of Chicago, who died just days before the election, was oral historian and legendary broadcaster Studs Terkel. Amy writes, I visited him last year in their shared city. “The American public itself has no memory of the past,” he told her. “We forgot what happened yesterday … why are we there in Iraq? And they say, when you attack our policy, you’re attacking the boys. On the contrary … we want them back home with their families, doing their work and not a war that we know is built upon an obscene lie. … It’s this lack of history that’s been denied us.”

Amy concludes her column, writing-

The Obama campaign benefited from the participation of millions. They and millions more see that the current direction of the country is not sustainable. From the global economic meltdown to war, we have to find a new way. This is a rare moment when party lines are breaking down. Yet if Obama buckles to the corporate lobbyists, how will his passionate supporters pressure him? They have built a historic campaign operation—but they don’t control it. People need strong, independent grass-roots organizations to effect genuine, long-term change. This is how movements are built. As Obama heads to the White House, his campaign organization needs to be returned to the people who built it, to continue the community organizing that made history.

studsterkel
Of Studs Terkel’s death, Chicago Tribune reporter Patrick Reardon writes he was “born in New York City but came to embody Chicago as no other writer or cultural figure ever has. And few have left such a deep literary imprint. He took the obscure academic exercise known as oral history and turned it into literature. In transcribing the words and hopes of ordinary people, he gave voice to the voiceless.” Reardon continues, “whether on radio or on the page, he used his words to celebrate the People with a capital P and to protest their oppression by the stupid and powerful.”

According to Jeff Cohen, founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Studs Terkel will never be silenced. “Studs received generally favorable treatment from mainstream media. The respect was not mutual. He decried the elite media’s coziness with the powerful, the timidity that subverted public television, and the censorial ways of corporate media bosses.”

In his last interview, October 23rd, a week before his death at the age of 96, Studs Terkel told Edward Lifson of Huffington Post, “Community organizers like Obama know what’s going on. If they remember. The important thing is memory. You know in this country, we all have Alzheimer’s. Obama has got to remember his days as an organizer. It all comes back to the neighborhood.”

According to the piece, Studs Terkel was hoping for an Obama landslide. “I’m very excited by the idea of a black guy in the White House, that’s very exciting,” he said as he was hanging up, “I just wish he was more progressive.”

Music by Ooah & Ernest Gonzales. Produced in the studios of Boise Community Radio, and also airing on KRFP Moscow.

Read Full Post »

Twin Cities hip hop artist and community organizer Toki Wright joined me on the phone Saturday November 1st to talk about his new record A Different Mirror, the election and the track he’s giving away free on his website, State of Emergency. Toki works with youth doing grassroots hip hop movement building as central figure in social justice group Yo! The Movement.

STREAM or DOWNLOAD the entire interview here.

The interview aired last night on the first ever edition of our new rotating-host hip hop program on Boise Community Radio, Early Bedtime, Saturday nights at 10pm. View the complete programming lineup on our website.

Read Full Post »

Crossroads October 31 LISTEN or DOWNLOAD HERE

Digital Crossroads is a weekly program covering media democracy, press freedom, technology policy, radio and the record business, privacy & surveillance and voting. I’m producer and host Radioactive Gavin. Each week I bring you headlines, clips and original interviews trying to help you understand the connections between your life, powerful media companies, government officials and activists.

On today’s program the 2008 Election. Voting trouble is a nationwide problem. From state governments kicking people off the roles illegally to errors with touch-screen voting systems, Americans are seriously doubting all votes will be counted accurately this year. Leading election integrity experts outline some problems and reporter Greg Palast offers advice for Stealing Back Your Vote. Also today some good news from around the country, and a bunch of clips including the original actors from the Budweiser “Wassssup” campaign, LA electronic musicians and folk singer Ellen Bukstel going political.

All this and more on today’s Digital Crossroads, stay tuned!

We start today with a clip from Video the Vote who investigated ES&S brand touch screen systems in West Virginia. The video makes you even less confident as county clerk Jeff Waybright re-calibrates a machine, then it still gets the vote wrong.

After mocking the idea that anyone clicking on a Democratic ticket vote would get the Republican ticket vote, he shows how to correctly calibrate the machine, showing how easy it is to fix the “problems” of the miscalibrated machine. When he’s done, to prove it works, he touches the box to vote for a straight Republican ticket… and, wouldn’t you know it, Ralph Nader’s name is highlighted as the voter’s choice. His response? “Oh, that’s out of calibration!” as if it was no big deal, apparently missing the fact that he had just calibrated the machine. Commentary from TechDirt.

Next up, Experts outline e-voting problems

Blogger Jim Cirile assembled a panel of 13 leading election integrity (EI) experts for Velvet Revolution.us and asked their advice on myriad aspects of the e-voting problem. Their recommendations are wide-ranging and should hopefully serve as a wake-up call, since candidates’ political futures, not to mention the future of the U.S. and the entire planet, could be decided on error-prone and worse, easily tamperable electronic voting systems.

The question put to each of the experts was, “How can candidates best protect themselves from potential electronic voting problems and manipulation?” Here are some of their conclusions-

At least 55 percent of Americans voting this November will vote on paper ballots that will be counted by optical scanners, according to Virginia-based Election Data Services, Inc. Jim Cirile of VelvetRevolution.US put together panelists who agree that it is critical to election safety that a significant percentage of these paper ballots be randomly audited by hand — at least 5 to 10 percent. Other key recommendations include urging the use of paper in any way, shape or form over touch-screens, increasing awareness of candidates, election officials, and the media as to e-voting vulnerabilities, and most importantly, urging the candidates not to concede until every last ballot has been counted and counted accurately.

But there is one other problem with taking on the machines. “Candidates are incredibly vulnerable to allegations of being a poor loser or conspiracy theorists if they challenge,” says Simon Ardizzone, who made the DVD Hacking Democracy. “Many candidates who want a political career often choose not to challenge, but to keep their credibility for the next election. It’s just unrealistic to ask them to sacrifice their political career for a completely non-vote-winning issue like election reform.” Despite that, he recommends candidates ask as many questions as possible when discrepancies occur, and they should make the answers public.

Ardizzone raises one more intriguing point: “There are certain candidates who don’t stand a chance of being elected and so have nothing to lose by rocking the boat. There is one candidate on the presidential ballot who is incredibly well-versed in the issue and who I am sure would participate in any investigation, because we filmed her extensively during the 2004 election cycle in Georgia (she’s in one of the extra features on the ‘Hacking Democracy’ DVD). That candidate is Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia has rights to a recount almost anywhere in the country. Interesting thought.”

What can you do? Get active, writes Cirile. Get in your candidates’ faces. Forward this report far and wide — to candidates and their staff, friends, neighbors.

And wake people the hell up. “How do you break through the sleep of the American electorate?” ponders Florida election official Ion Sancho. “In my opinion, they simply don’t want to question elections simply because it’s too difficult, too untidy, and causes problems.” Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog adds, “There is a school of thought which I find bizarre and twisted and totally without merit, that if you talk about these issues, people will give up and not vote at all. I have found absolutely no evidence of that, and in fact, the contrary is true.” He notes that in 2006, Democrat Debra Bowen ran for Secretary of State in a year that Schwarzenegger was very popular. “Her big issue was election integrity and concerns about the voting machines. She shouldn’t have won that election, but she did because she spoke about these issues of electoral integrity that nobody else is speaking about. So the people get it, but the media and the politicians don’t. The politicians need to start talking about it.”

David Jefferson of Livermore National Laboratories says that election officials need to step up. “They have the responsibility to demand better voting systems and, in the meantime, create and enforce strong security procedures. And it is federal officials who need to have their consciousness raised about standards, certification, and the need for meaningful auditability requirements.” And that means we need to force them to do just that.

David Swanson of After Downing Street concludes, “All of us should make clear ahead of time that we will denounce and shame any candidate who either wins or loses a questionable election and does not seek to find answers to those questions.”

Writer Jim Cirile’s conlusion: Be the media. That means every one of us. Jim Cirile is a freelance screenwriter, musician and journalist living in Los Angeles.

Next up let’s listen to a clip from Center for Media and Democracy‘s Weekly Radio Spin from last week- According to Princeton, despite their own study showing elections in New Jersey can be hacked in a matter of 7 minutes, voting is too important to watch…

In Colorado, public interest groups fought purges and won-
The Colorado chapter of national non-partisan non-profit Common Cause has fueled one voting victory before the election takes place. From a press release available on their website an agreement was reached on October 29th before a federal judge in Colorado ensuring that tens of thousands of Colorado voters illegally purged from the registration lists will have their votes counted. Colorado Common Cause, Mi Familia Vota and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) filed a complaint contending that the Colorado Secretary of State had violated the National Voting Rights Act by removing voters from the rolls within 90 days of a federal election. In addition to about 1900 voters removed for permitted reasons such as death and incarceration for a felony, approximately 30,000 voters were scrubbed. The state sent non-forwardable mail that was returned as undeliverable, but a voter doesn’t lose their rights simply by not receiving mail. For more on this go to http://www.JustVoteColorado.com

There is also some encouraging news about citizen journalists protecting the election

The New York Times reported October 27th, “There are at least two wikis intended to let voters collaborate to collect examples of problems with voting, whether exceptionally long lines or more direct actions meant to scare off voters — the Voter Suppression Wiki and SourceWatch’s Election Protection Wiki. Since 2006, the Video the Vote project has sent out volunteers to monitor voting around the country, and this year the group expects to dispatch at least 2,300 volunteers with cameras in all 50 states to videotape potential trouble spots. … The ultimate home for much of this content could be the video-sharing giant YouTube, which has created a channel, Video Your Vote, in collaboration with PBS, to encourage submissions. … While his organization is partnering with YouTube (and received 300 cameras as part of the Video Your Vote project), [project founder Ian] Inaba says he sees their missions as different. ‘YouTube is there to generate content, to generate eyeballs,’ he said. ‘We came at this from more of an election protection framework. We want voters to oversee the election process – it requires citizen oversight.'”

Investigative Reporter Greg Palast sent an email to his mailing list this week with tips on what he calls stealing back your vote.

  1. Don’t don’t don’t Mail In Your Ballot-unless… For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don’t know, do you? I can tell you that officially, three-fourths of a million absentee ballots were never counted last time, on the weakest of technical excuses. And you won’t even know it. Furthermore, tens of thousands of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them – in which case you’re out of luck. Most states won’t let you vote in-precinct once you’ve applied to vote absentee. Every time I hear of a voter going “absentee” to avoid computer screens, I want to “go postal” myself. But for gosh sakes-don’t throw out your ballot if you have a mail-in. Either mail it in, making sure to include ID if required (you first-time voters) or, better, WALK it into your county clerk’s office.
  2. Vote Early…very early
    Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Do it. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive,” or you’re on a challenge list. By Election Day, there’s little to do but hold up the line.
  3. Register and Register and Register
    Think you’re registered to vote? Think again. With all this purg’n going on, you could be x’d out and you won’t know it. Check online with your Secretary of State’s office or call your County Board of Elections. Then register your girlfriend, your wife, your mailman and your mommy. Contact the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the League of Women Voters, and your local party organization, and commit to a couple of days of door-to-door registration, especially in minority neighborhoods or at social service agency offices. And if you’ve served the time, you can sign: in almost every state, ex-cons can vote.
  4. Vote Unconditionally, Not Provisionally
    In 2008, they’ll be handing out provisional ballots like candy, especially to Hispanic voters. If your right to vote is challenged, don’t accept a provisional ballot that will likely not get counted no matter what the sweet little lady at the table tells you. She won’t decide; partisan sharks will. Demand adjudication from poll judges on the spot; demand a call to the supervisor of elections; or return with acceptable ID if possible. And be a champ: defend the rights of others. If you’ve taken Step 1 above and voted early, you have Election Day free to be a poll watcher. Run into trouble­-you’ve been caged or purged or challenged-call Election Protection at 1-(866) OUR-VOTE. Then challenge the challengers, the weird guys with Blackberrys containing lists of “suspect” voters. Be firm, but no biting.
  5. Occupy Ohio, Invade Nevada
    The revolution will not be podcast. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs and take the resistance door-to-door-to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote. Donate time to your union or to the troublemakers I’ve already listed here and on our site. This may seem a stupendously unoriginal suggestion, but I know of no other method more effective for confronting the armed and dangerous junta that has seized the White House.
  6. Date a Voter
    Voting, like bowling and love, should never be done alone. As our sponsor, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, says, make a date to ‘Arrive with Five.’ And keep this comic book in your holster – with our 800 numbers and your photo ID in your hand.
  7. Make the Democracy Demand: No Vote Left Behind!
    I have this crazy fantasy in my head. In it, an election is stolen and the guy who’s wrongly declared the loser stands up in front of the White House and says three magic words: “Count the votes.” You can have all the paper ballots in the world, but if you don’t demand to look at them, publicly, in a recount, you might as well mark them with invisible ink. Democracy requires vigilance The Day After. That’s when you check in at http://www.stealbackyourvote.org one more time.

It’s time for a break, here’s Ellen Bukstel with “They Lost My Vote

You’re listening to Digital Crossroads, produced in the downtown studio of Boise Community Radio, now airing on affiliate KRFP Radio Free Moscow.

Let’s listen to a couple of interesting clips about the election. First up Change 2008-

The original actors behind the super famous Budweiser “Wassssssssssup!” commercials recently got back together to make a new political ad that’s an update on the original Bud ad. The commercial makers make it clear that the message of the commercial is not in any way endorsed by or associated with Anheuser-Busch. Charles Stone III, who created the whole Wassup concept, directed the first commercial and stars as the first guy who picks up the phone. According to TechDirt he never gave Anheuser-Busch full control over the Wassup concept. Rather, he sold them an exclusive on it for 5 years for a grand total of $37,000. He admits that people laughed at him at the time for selling so “low,” but he’s quite happy with how it worked out: He says- “That I’m able to use an idea distributed by a huge company, who made a lot of money off it, so that now when I put out what I want to say, it’s recognizable, and it sparks — that’s worth $1 million to me.”

Next up, the viral video that has people dancing in the streets for Obama. The video is hilarious, though the song is kinda repetitive. Taz Arnold of Sa-Ra Creative Partners and other LA-based musicians and dancers put together a video featuring celebrity appearances by rapper Kanye West, artist Shepard Fairey, and music producer Alfred “Daedelus” Darlington.

Here’s Taz Arnold with “I’ma Vote Obama Way”

You’re listening to Digital Crossroads…

Well, November 4th is not only Election Day. It is also the day when the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in the FCC vs. Fox case, which is the first time the Federal government’s ability to regulate language on the American airwaves has come before the Supremes since FCC vs. Pacifica, also known as the George Carlin case. Its kind of amazing when you realize the issue of so-called “indecency” is back on center stage again the same year when comedian George Carlin passed away.

The issue of “Fleeting Indecencies” or bad words uttered over the air unintentionally on awards shows and so-called reality TV may not even get “AIRTIME” with the Supremes, because they have the option of ruling very narrowly on whether the FCC handled their own procedures correctly and then the First Amendment issues could be left out of the discussion. Tune into Digital Crossroads next week to hear an interview with Free Expression Policy Project director Marjorie Heins, a friend of the program.

Last but not least on this Election special, the Federal Communications Commission is having a controversial day of policy decision-making on November 4th. One of the big issues on the docket is White Spaces. This issue presents a very real opportunity for the Federal Government to address Bridging the Digital Divide, and I have for you a clip featuring Minnie Ingersoll of Google, talking about WiFi on steroids and what this all means. The video is available on Free the Airwaves.

Theme music by Ooah of the Glitch Mob.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »