2 Minute Teach-in

In partnership with Progressive Voices, we began the 2 Minute Teach-in Project, giving the down and dirty what-you-need-to-know in 2 minutes or less on a variety of subjects. We are also offering a version of the 2 Minute Teach-in on PRX and to interested radio stations as part of our ongoing effort to educate and disseminate - to change the conversation.

You can listen to the teach-ins by subject by clicking the links below. For more information, call us at 386.227.6577 or e-mail us at general@AirOccupy.com.

Listen to the teach-in on plastic. Transcript: To follow.

Listen to the teach-in on the feasibility of powering New York State through renewable energy. Transcript: To follow.

Listen to the teach-in on Air Occupy for our 1 year anniversary. Transcript: In honor of our first year of programming, we thought for this week's teach-in we'd talk a little bit about our show, our goals and motivations, and some of the recurring and overlapping topics that continue to draw our attention.

As the physical occupation of public spaces wound down last spring, the three of us, Liz, Jerry, and Shannon, energized by the refreshing display of people power and community inherent to the Occupy Movement decided to continue in our own way with what we felt was one of Occupy's most meaningful accomplishments - changing the narrative.

Particularly over the last dozen years, news coverage has by and large devolved into what amounts to corporate propaganda presented as "fair and balanced" coverage. This consists of two opposing positions given equal coverage to "balance" the presentation. The problem with this type of "news" coverage is that usually, one position is based on scientific study, statistics, extensive impartial review by experts, while the other is just opinion. This is unequal and unbalanced - downright unhinged when you consider issues like climate change with very real consequences regardless of anyone's opinion.

Air Occupy helps to fill the enormous void created by corporate media. In our effort to provide factual and unbiased information and to inform and inspire the public, we rely on experts and activists to cover broad-ranging topics of current relevance and concern. Many come directly from Occupy Wall Street's Declaration: money in politics, bank fraud and the effects for families and homeowners, corporate money and its corruptive effects on democracy, violation of protestors' and citizens' civil rights, income inequality, military occupation abroad and the environment.

To name just a few of our guests, we've had the honor of interviewing Professor Noam Chomsky; Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and activist Chris Hedges; Sue Wilson, Emmy award winning journalist and director of "Broadcast Blues"; David Gespass, President of the National Lawyers' Guild; Alexa O'Brien, a journalist and named plaintiff in Hedges v. Obama, and Carl Mayer, attorney for the plaintiffs discussing the implications of the 2012 NDAA; Occupy the SEC, which received extensive national coverage for their 300+ page dissection of the Volker Rule; Prof. Bill Black, author of "The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One," members of Occupy sandy; Jay Feldman, Executive Director and Founder of Beyond Pesticides; Linda ?? of Nuke Free Now. And many, many more which you can find archived on our website www.AirOccupy.com. We hope you will make us a regular part of your week and tune in every Tuesday at 11 a.m. EST on GoliathRadio.com.

Listen to the teach-in on War and Hunger. Transcript: This is Shannon McLeish from Air Occupy and this is your 2 minute teach-in on the Progressive Voices Channel on Tune In. In honor of this week's interview with Keith McHenry of Food Not Bombs, our teach-in today gives a snapshot of poverty and food insecurity in America and around the world, followed by a look at military spending in the US over the last decade of war in Iraq.

More than 16% of Americans live in poverty. This number includes about 1 in 5 - of America's children. Around 17 million children suffer very low food security, meaning they have to skip meals or not eat for a day due to lack of money to buy food. Almost 1 in 2 Americans are low income or poor. (You can find more here and here and here.)

As stark as these figures are, both the statistics and the experience of poverty are much worse elsewhere around the globe. Nearly 30% of all the people on the planet are impoverished and facing food insecurity. By region, those figures may be as high as 70%. Almost half the world lives on less than 2.50/day and 80% on less than 10 a day.

Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel prize and former chief economist of the World Bank and Linda Bilmes of Harvard estimate the current cost to the U.S. of war in Iraq at $4 trillion - well over $12,000 per U.S. citizen. As Prof. Stiglitz notes, this incomprehensible sum does not include the continuing cost to Iraq and the world (more here and here and here).

To give some points of reference, one month in Afghanistan and Iraq would have paid the entire annual budget of The EPA. Two years of air conditioning for troops in Afghanistan could have provided 40 years of federal Amtrak funding. Just one day of spending in the Iraq war would feed school lunches to over 1 million children or provide renewable energy to over 1 and a quarter million homes.

In case you were wondering, the number 1 beneficiary of all this spending was the oil industry.

Listen to the teach-in on foreclosures. Transcript: Hello, this is Jerry Bolkcom, co-host of Air Occupy, the one-hour weekly information radio program with this week’s two-minute teach-in on the Progressive Voice Channel on Tune In.

This week, we discuss the ongoing sub-prime mortgage and foreclosure crisis and the need for additional homeowner relief. Nationwide, there have been over 4.5 million completed foreclosures since the collapse of the mortgage securitization markets and the beginning of the financial crisis in September 2008. There are an additional 1.5 million homes in some stage of the foreclosure process. Currently, 30 percent of all home mortgages in the U.S. are underwater. That is, 14 million homes owe more on mortgage loans than the house is worth. The total amount of lost value on homes is over $1 Trillion. Fifty percent of all U.S. Foreclosures are concentrated in 5 particularly hard hit states: California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Georgia.

There have been limited efforts made to provide relief to affected homeowners. Other than a very limited ability for FHA loanholders to re-finance home loans at current lower rates, government efforts to ameliorate the crisis and provide direct relief to homeowners facing foreclosure circumstances have been largely unsuccessful. The failure of these government efforts have resulted in no small part from the failure of the banks to participate in loan work-outs. There have been 2 widely-publicized settlements of civil lawsuits brought by the department of justice and various state attorneys general alleging bank and related financial securities sector firms committed fraud in underwriting, rating, securitizing and foreclosing on home mortgages. Without admitting any liability, the banks agreed to pay $34 billion in settlement, with very little of that money being provided directly to defrauded home mortgage borrowers. The settlements have been roundly criticized as providing far too little in direct relief to affected homeowners. To date, there have been no criminal prosecutions of financial sector corporate officials for the fraud they perpetrated and damage they have caused.

Listen to the teach-in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Transcript: This is Shannon from Air Occupy and this is your 2 minute teach-in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Salon's Matt Stoller referred to it as the biggest trade deal you've never heard of. The 16th Round of Negotiations began in Singapore this week. There is no public input. Even members of Congress and the press are excluded while Big Oil, the Big Banks, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma - 600 corporations - hold court as official advisors to world governments during these secret dealings.

Yes! Magazine calls it a corporate coup, locking in corporate rule. The TPP would spark a global "race to the bottom," offshoring millions of jobs to impoverished or repressive countries that allow exploitation of people for corporate profit. It would allow corporations to exploit lax environmental standards and weak regulations in other countries. Through the TPP, corporations could dismantle our democracy and consumer, labor, and environmental protections, challenging these safeguards through international tribunals that circumvent our rights and laws. Countries could even be forced to pay high fines for negatively affecting corporate profits.

A wide coalition has called for transparency, including members of congress, labor, Amnesty International, the ACLU, Public Citizen, and the Sierra Club. Here's what you can do: call or visit your Congresspeople. Spread the word in your community; write a letter to the editor; or work to pass a local resolution. More on what you can do can be found on the Citizens' Trade Campaign site. More about the TPP can be found on Public Citizen's site.

Listen to the teach-in on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Transcript: Hi this is Liz from Air Occupy on The Progressive Voices Channel on TuneIn and this is your 2 minute teach-in.

On Feb. 17, over 40,000 people gathered at the White House for the Forward on Climate rally to tell Pres Obama to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline. Here's what you need to know: The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would be 1700-miles of pipeline that would transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

There are 2 central arguments against the building of this extension:

First, using tar sands oil would be catastrophic for our planet. NASA scientist James Hansen says it would be "game over for the climate" because extraction and processing of oil from the tar sands requires tremendous amounts of water and energy. The EPA says that the pipeline would increase annual carbon emissions by the equivalent of having 6.2 million cars on the road for 50 years.

The second major argument against the Keystone XL pipeline is the risk of spills. The Keystone XL will run through a ninety-mile stretch of an aquifer that provides drinking water for 2.3 million people. It will also cross an active seismic zone and nearly 2000 rivers in eight states.

The pipeline would carry an asphalt-like substance called Diluted Butimen, or DilBit. It is a hot slurry of sand, oil, heavy metals, and chemicals such as benzene, toluene, and hydrogen sulfide.

Here’s what you can do: because the pipe will cross international borders, the decision to approve or deny its construction lies with President Obama. Call and tell him that you object to the Keystone XL pipeline.

For more information and some interesting reading, check out these links:

Game Over for the Climate by JAMES HANSEN, May 9, 2012
Two Years Later, Kalamazoo River Oil Pipeline Spill Is Nation's Costliest
by Josh Mogerman, July 26, 2012

Potential Keystone Pipeline Leaks Underestimated, Study Finds by Tom Zeller Jr., 09/10/11

Report: Brief overview of oil pipelines’ ruptures and volumes of oil spills in Russia by Ivan P. Blokov, Greenpeace Russia

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline leak detection system would have likely missed the 63,000 gallon Norman Wells pipeline spill by Anthony Swift, June 10, 2011

Despite Spills, More Oil Sands Pipelines Are Coming by Christopher Helman, 6/26/2012

Few Oil Pipeline Spills Detected by Much-Touted Sensors by Lisa Song, Sep 19, 2012

My 1,700-mile hike across the XL Pipeline by Ken Ilgunas, Jan. 20, 2013

Texas Stretch of Keystone XL Pipeline Progressing by Kate Galbraith, February 27, 2013

Kalamazoo River oil spill responders 'writing the book' on submerged oil clean up by Fritz Klug, July 24, 2011