I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 16-23 July

Democracy Sausage. I’ve only just started listening to this podcast by Mark Kenny, who used to write for The Age (he may still, for all I know because I stopped subscribing once it became Herald-Sun-Lite). The Prosperity Gospel features Peter Martin (who writes for the Conversation) and Marija Taflaga (from ANU Centre for the Study of Australian Politics, with a research interest in the Liberal Party). This podcast is from May and before the budget, so it’s a bit outdated, but it starts with an interesting commentary on Scott Morrison’s talk to a Christian conference about God speaking to him through a picture of an eagle, and his habit of ‘laying hands’ on people he was comforting. That certainly creeped me out, and despite their Christian affiliation, it creeped out Peter and Marija as well.

Heather Cox Richardson Her Facebook video of 11 June 2021 is Part Two of her series on Native Americans. She returned to the Northern Plains people, and the spread of settlers into indigenous land encouraged by the homesteading acts. The invention of barbed wire, mining, and technological change that made it possible to use buffalo skins commercially all put indigenous land under pressure. I obviously didn’t watch enough cowboys and indians or Saturday afternoon matinees, because I really didn’t know much about the Battle of Little Big Horn, which she discusses here.

China If You’re Listening (ABC). The final episode of this series is Are the ‘drums of war beating’ over Taiwan?. He starts off with the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, which China has constructed and is now claiming. We might not go to war over the Paracel Islands, but we might over Taiwan. He goes through the history of Taiwan and Hong Kong, and how they fit into China’s world view in the 21st century. Rather chilling.

The Real Story (BBC) With the recent demonstrations in Cuba, this episode Cuba at a Crossroads features commentators from outside Cuba (including an academic, a former US diplomat, an author and an economist). I’m not sure that they are particularly well placed to speak for Cuba, but they do agree that the US sanctions and bans on remittances re-imposed by Donald Trump are doing real harm. They also all agreed that the US should not get involved, even though Díaz-Canel is blaming the US for instigating the demonstrations. There’s no Castro charisma there any more.

The Last Archive This episode was a cross-posting from History This Week, a History Channel podcast. The Fairness Doctrine was introduced when television licences were strictly controlled and highly sought, but it was overturned in 1987. The Fairness Doctrine decreed that television news should present both sides of an argument, but over time both people on the left AND right came to see it as problematic, for very different reasons. Since it has been abolished, it has given rise to the stridently partisan nature of media in US in particular, although cable TV and the internet would not have been covered by it anyway.

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