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Our Top Interviews: 2009


We began podcasting under the “Shared Sacrifice” name shortly after Gary Barkley returned from Iraq and published “Shared Sacrifice: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Global War on Terror.” Our goal was twofold, and was, in somewhat primordial form, the same as it is now at politicalcontext.org: Facilitate in-depth discussions on a broad array of progressive issues, positions, and questions, by interviewing left reformers,  revolutionaries, and everything in betweeen.

By 2009, we’d scored some really great interviews with guests whose reputations and successes had not undercut their graciousness and humanity in the least. The hosting bullpen didn’t pretend to be “the professional media,” and our interactions with listeners via phone or chat room often became integral parts of the episodes. Many of our guests were impressively precient in 2009, as these highlights indicate. Here are a few of our better podcasted interviews from 2009:

The first time we interviewed Richard Wolff, May 2 2009, we received more phone calls than we ever had before. We couldn’t possibly take them all and still give Professor Wolff the time he needed to explain the collapse of capitalism. The incredulity of our listeners in 2009 is an interesting contrast to how many of those same people probably feel today, and although we can and will debate about what’s to come, Professor Wolff’s position on the collapse of capital seems more than reasonable.

Mike Farrell was on our show and we didn’t even ask him what BJ really stood for. Mike’s position on the death penalty has endured in good times and bad, but in 2011, with no intellectual support remaining for capital punishment, it appears increasingly to be a foregone conclusion.

Pam Hartwell-Herrero had reason to celebrate on our show; she and her Green colleagues in Fairfax, CA had just taken over the Fairfax Town Council. A personable, genuine and intelligent activist, Pam gave a great interview and offered a model for both policy advocacy and personability.

Sara Robinson’s take on American fascism isn’t as creepy as you might think. A futurist, Robinson was (and is) far from a fatalist. The resistance she, and the hosts, hoped for seems to be coming into its own in the current American labor struggles.

This interview with Marjorie Cohn, conducted shortly after the imprisonment of her friend and colleague Lynne Stewart, is an informative discussion on the death of the rule of law under America’s permenant warfare state.

Bonus material: It’s not technically an “interview” because Jim Maritato was to become a valuable member of the Shared Sacrifice Host Bullpen for lo, many months. But Maritato’s commentary on “Capitalism: A Love Story” was insightful and just a little funny.

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