Friday, September 30, 2005

William Bennett's View of Race and Crime

This Friday on Inner Vision, host Michael Benner discusses the astonishing racism revealed by former Education Secretary William Bennett's remarks about aborting black babies to lower crime. That he is the author of a best selling book titled "The Book of Virtues" makes the story all the more absurd. Don't miss Inner Vision with Michael Benner, Friday at 1:00 on KPFK.

Your comments are welcome here. Thanks.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Two Gulfs ...

With Saturday's big anti-war rally and Hurricane Rita in the news, we see a remarkable juxtaposition ... a choice, really. Do we promote democracy by killing people in Iraq, or is it better to promote democracy by helping those who most need our help? Join Michael Benner for Friday Inner Vision on KPFK as he discusses our options in "The Two Gulfs." That's Inner Vision, Friday afternoon at 1:00 PM on KPFK, 90.7-FM in Southern California, 98.7-FM in Santa Barbara County, and streaming for the world at KPFK-dot-org.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Meditation Music Soothes Stress

English playwrite William Congreve's phrase, "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast; to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak," is often mis-stated as "savage beast," and often attributed to Shakespeare. But in any event, the calming effect of music on the human soul is the topic of Inner Vision with Michael Benner this week. The premeir composer of meditation music, Steven Halpern, is Michael's guest at 1:00 PM Friday afternoon plus open phones for listeners to call with your questions. That's Inner Vision with Michael Benner, Friday's at 1:00 PM on KPFK, 90.7-FM in Southern California, 98.7-FM in Santa Barbara County, and streaming for the world at KPFK-dot-org.

Your text comments are welcome here. Thanks.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Inner Vision Guest Jon Marc Hammer

Join Michael Benner for Inner Vision, Friday afternoon at 1:00 PM on KPFK when his guest, Jon Marc Hammer, will discuss spiritually based values, ethics, and morales. Michael will also comment on the federal government's failure to respond adequately to Hurricane Katrina. That's Inner Vision with Michael Benner on KPFK, 90.7-FM in Southern California, 98.7-FM in Santa Barbara County, and streaming for the world at KPFK-dot-org.

Your text comments are welcomed here. Thanks.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Michael Benner's Ruts & Grooves Newsletter

Michael Benner’s
Ruts & Grooves
Commentary for Sentient Beings
September 4, 2005

If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.
— George W. Bush (1946 - )

No shame, no contrition, a total denial of responsibility, and not a single heartfelt apology — what more evidence does anyone need that the U.S. federal government and the mega-corporate interests it represents are led by soulless creatures? The suffering of the impoverished Americans living along the Gulf Coast is more the result of the Faustian Bargain made by Democrats and Republicans alike than any hurricane or flood.

The tragedy that has befallen the poor people who had no means of evacuation is a disaster on at least three levels. In the most obvious sense, it is a disaster of wind and water. President Bush calls it a “natural” disaster and insists the breech of the levees was unforeseeable. More lies from the Master of Deceit.

In recent years, Scientific American and National Geographic magazines have published extensive articles detailing this very scenario. In 2002, the New Orleans daily newspaper, The Times Picyuane published an award-winning, five-part series called “Washing Away” in which it predicted, “Amid this maelstrom, the estimated 200,000 or more people left behind in an evacuation will be struggling to survive. Some will be housed at the Superdome, the designated shelter in New Orleans for people too sick or infirm to leave the city. Others will end up in last-minute emergency refuges that will offer minimal safety. But many will simply be on their own, in homes or looking for high ground.

“Thousands will drown while trapped in homes or cars by rising water. Others will be washed away or crushed by debris. Survivors will end up trapped on roofs, in buildings or on high ground surrounded by water, with no means of escape and little food or fresh water, perhaps for several days.” (Full series is posted at: )

Secondly, Katrina has exposed the long-standing injustices of poverty and racism in the U.S., especially in the Heart of Dixie. Southern gentlemen still rape the women and lynch the men of color, but in less obvious ways. Their failure, decade after decade, to address widespread hunger, homelessness, unemployment, and education in any meaningful way is criminal. Even before Katrina struck land a week ago, fully 50-percent of the children in New Orleans lived in poverty. Racism, personal and institutional, reinforces the cycles of poverty generation after generation.

But on an even more fundamental level, America has pursued the ethic of self-interest to the virtual exclusion of community-interest in the “greater good.” Somehow burgeoning federal deficits and Orwellian assaults on human rights are promoted by those who object to the excesses of big government and big spenders. And so there’s plenty of money for war, corporate welfare, and tax cuts for the richest one percent, but little or nothing for those who most need help.

And so the ultimate crisis is cultural. Will the selfish, arrogant, ugly American prevail in his self-interest and materialism? Or will those of conscience restore balance to a nation born of a vision of equality in human rights and opportunities? How can the United States promote democracy abroad when it fails so miserably at home?

In storm-ravaged areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, white people “salvage” needed supplies of food and water, yet people of color are officially targeted as “looters.” There’s been some debate in the media about the appropriateness of calling the Gulf Coast evacuees “refugees.” Maybe we should all begin to think of ourselves simply as “insurgents.”


Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina, Poverty and Racism --- Three Disasters in One

This week on KPFK's Friday Inner Vision program, Michael discusses the long-standing disaster of poverty and racism in the United States compounded now by one of the biggest hurricanes in history. Will our response be limited to water, food and shelter, or will we address the greater need for justice and opportunity for all in America?

Also, author Chuck Hillig describes various definitions of God ... a Whole in One. Comment live between 1:00 and 2:00 PM (Pacific Time) at 818-985-5735, or leave your text comments here anytime.