The Michael Slate Show, July 11, 2014: Particle Fever; Protesting the Police Murder of Andy Lopez; Lupillo Rivera Stands With Immigrants

Listen to or download this show – click here.


Director Mark Levinson and Producer David Kaplan, talk about their film, “Particle Fever.”

Imagine being able to watch as Thomas Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Ben Franklin received his first jolt of electricity.

For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in history, pushing the edge of human innovation.

As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries joined forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. But they  confront an even bigger challenge: have we reached our limit in understanding why we exist?

Mark Levinson is a physicist turned filmmaker. David Kaplan is a professor of theoretical particle physics at Johns Hopkins University.

“Particle Fever” is available for download and VOD on iTunes and other sites. It is also showing in selected theaters. For showtimes, as well as a lot of information on the film, the subjects and how to learn more about physics, go to their website,

Andy Lopez

Last October 22, Andy Lopez, a 13-year-old from Santa Rosa, California, was walking along a rural road with a BB gun, when a Sonoma County Sheriffs car pulled up. Within seconds, a deputy opened fire, pumping 7 bullets into the body of the young Latino. Thousands have been protesting this cold-blooded police murder.

On July 7, the Sonoma County DA issued a report blaming Andy for his own death, and refusing to put the deputy on trial. Nicole Guerra, an organizer with Andy’s Youth, friends of Andy Lopez and other local youth who continue to protest his killing.

To learn more and get involved, go to the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez.


     We also hear from Lupillo Rivera, the Mexican Music Superstar who stood up against the howling fascist mobs in Murrieta, CA, on July 1, when they were terrorizing busloads of immigrant children. Connect with him on Facebook.


     Read “Leave Those Children Alone!” a statement from Carl Dix and Travis Morales:

     On July 2, more than 100 people waving American flags, screaming “Go back home,” and “Not our children. Not our problem,” blocked Homeland Security buses bringing 140 Central American refugee children and mothers to a Border Patrol processing center in Murrieta, California. This was a scene quite in keeping with America’s traditions. First, like modern day slave catchers, the government rounds up tens of thousands of hungry, desperate children at the border in Texas, then, these flag waving Made in America, 4th of July celebrating racists are unleashed.

“Not our children. Not our problem.”???  FUCK YOU!!!


Michael Slate Show, 5/21/2014: Alice Goffman, On The Run; Bob Avakian, The Conditions of Black People Today

Listen, download, or get the podcast here.

On the Run-Goffman-horz

Alice Goffman is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has produced one of the most remarkable books in a long time on what’s happening to Black people in the US, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. Goffman’s pathbreaking book was released just this spring. This is one of her first radio interviews.

The author spent six years living in an African American neighborhood in Philadelphia, where people are trapped in a web of high-tech surveillance, police violence, and mass incarceration. 2.5 million people behind bars have made the US the world’s largest jailer. But there are also 7 million people on probation or parole, subjected to conditions that author Michelle Alexander called the New Jim Crow.

On the Run brings you into the middle of the lives of the people impacted by this situation — a whole section of people who have been turned into hunted fugitives in their own neighborhoods. She lets us watch as the pleasures of summer evening stoop sitting are shattered by the arrival of a car-full of cops looking to serve a warrant. She recounts being awoken by a police raid — or seeing a friend arrested for attending the birth of his child by the cops who lie in wait at the hospitals where Black people go.



Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, discusses the conditions facing Black people today, how they developed, what’s behind them and what’s the solution.

For more on Bob Avakian, go to

Michael Slate Show 4/25/14: Marc Silver and Robin Reineke, “Who Is Dayani Cristal?” Plus Alicia Hall Moran and Kingsley Leggs, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”

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Who-Is-Dayani-Cristal    Deep in the sun-blistered Sonora desert beneath a cicada tree, Arizona border police discover a decomposing male body. Lifting a tattered T-shirt, they expose a tattoo that reads “Dayani Cristal”. Who is this person? What brought him here? How did he die? And who – or what – is Dayani Cristal? Following a team of dedicated staff from the Pima County Morgue in Arizona, director Marc Silver seeks to answer these questions and give this anonymous man an identity. As the forensic investigation unfolds, Mexican actor and activist Gael García Bernal retraces this man’s steps along the migrant trail in Central America.

These stories are woven together in the beautiful and powerful, “Who Is Dayani Cristal?” We are joined by the director, Marc Silver, and Robin Reineke, a cultural anthropologist who appears in the film. Robin Reineke is Executive Director of the Colibri Center for Human Rights.

“Who Is Dayani Cristal?” is a movie for the head and the heart. As a reviewer recently said, “It should be essential viewing for everyone. This film is an opinion changer, not a policy changer, but one almost always follows the other. Get your tickets now.”

To find a screening in your area, or to help bring the film to an area where it’s not currently scheduled, click here.

Porgy and Bess Photo 13 smaller   “When Porgy and Bess premiered on a New York stage in 1935, no one could have predicted its reach, nor its indelible impact on the American psyche nor its persistently shifting position within popular culture,” essayist Lynell George wrote recently. Conceived and composed as an opera, it has been staged internationally in scores of versions. Now, re-envisioned as a musical stage production, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, is touring the US, playing at the Ahmanson Theatre through June 1.

     The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess portrays the lives of Black people, set in the 1920s, in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past. The only one who can rescue her is the courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater’s most exhilarating love stories.


     We’ll talk with cast members Alicia Hall Moran, who plays Bess, and Kingsley Leggs, who plays Sporting Life.


Michael Slate Show, 4/18/14: Dr. Jody Armour, Wayne Kramer, Bianca Bagatourian

To listen or download, or get the podcast, go to the KPFK archives.

Jody Amour     Dr. Jody David Armour is Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at USC, and author of Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism, Nigger Lover: Luck, Law, and Language in the Social Construction of Niggas, a play, Race, Rap and Redemption, and an upcoming book, Nigga Theory. His writings and other work deal with the realities of race, social class, and the criminalization of an entire people. We’ll talk about these questions, and his own personal experience.



Wayne Kramer B n W     Legendary guitarist, composer and activist Wayne Kramer will join us to talk about “LEXINGTON,” his new jazz album. Wayne Kramer came to prominence as the guitarist for the MC5 in the late 1960s. He is the co-founder of Jail Guitar Doors. He also composes music for movies and television.

Wayne Kramer recently said, “LEXINGTON could actually be the musical narrative of the second half of my adult life.” It’s a free jazz album featuring an extraordinary ensemble of musicians. “LEXINGTON” will be released April 29, with a special record store release April 19.


Bianca Bagatourian     Bianca Bagatourian, an experimental playwright whose works revolve around human rights and genocide, will talk about the play she wrote, The Time of Our Lies, about the life and times of Historian Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States. The play unravels through Zinn’s personal story as a young bombardier and goes on to depict how his life was shaped from there, as well as examining the stories of other soldiers and the horrors of war.

“A wonderfully imaginative play that uses my father’s words as the unifying thread. Songs, nursery rhymes and tapped-out rhythms add a playful lightness and humanness that illuminate the horrors of war.”  –Myla Kabat-Zinn, daughter of Howard Zinn

Michael Slate Show 4/16/14 with Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd, 3 US hikers imprisoned in Iran

To listen to or download this show, or to get the podcast, click here.

The World We Live In: How a Vacation Hike Ends Up in Solitary Confinement Inside a Deadly Prison

Sarah Shane Josh

In the summer of 2009, Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd were hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan when they were deceived by an Iranian border guard and unknowingly crossed the border into Iran. They were arrested, accused of being spies and ultimately ended up in Evin Prison, one of the deadliest torture chambers in the world. The three hikers were interrogated and held in solitary. Sarah spent 14 months in solitary before she was released while Shane and Josh spent a shorter time in solitary but were held in prison for two years.


Shane, Josh and Sarah talk about their new memoir, A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran. They tell a powerful story of the torment of their time in prison, the solidarity they found with their fellow prisoners, the shameful role of the US government and what they learned from and took away from the whole experience and how it changed their lives forever.

Michael Mann on Climate Change — Transcript of Interview


Michael E Mann     Dr. Michael E. Mann on the recent report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.”

“Basically, what this latest report makes clear, if there were any question, is that climate change is not just some abstract, far off, existential threat. It’s not just something that is going to impact polar bears in the Arctic decades from now. It’s something that’s impacting us here and now negatively. And in a sense, we are the polar bear. We are seeing the negative impacts of climate change, whether you are talking about issues of food and fresh water availability, whether you’re talking about availability of land, whether you’re talking about human health, whether you’re talking about the health of our economy, whether you’re talking about issues of conflict and national security, which after all, are a consequence of competition for available resources. And what the report makes very clear is that if we continue on the road that we’re on right now with ongoing fossil fuel burning, we will see diminished food, water and land and greater competition for diminishing resources among a growing global population.”

Dr. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University and director of the Penn State Earth Systems Science Center.

Read the full transcript at

Listen to or download the interview on the Michael Slate Show here. (It is the second segment.)



Michael Slate Show, April 4, 2014 – Sunsara Taylor, Abortion Rights Emergency; Dr. Michael Mann, Climate Change report; “Doctor Anonymous

To listen to or download this show, or get the podcast, click here.

Abortion march SF 04   Sunsara Taylor on the Abortion Rights Emergency and plans for National Days of Emergency Actions, April 11 and 12. The assault on abortion rights is a critical part of the war on women.

“On March 6, the last abortion clinic in the impoverished Rio Grande region of Texas stopped providing abortions. Today, any woman there who needs an abortion must make a 300-mile round-trip to the next closest clinic. Many will never make that trip. Instead, they will be trapped in abusive relationships, be driven (deeper) into poverty, or take desperate measures — like prostitution — to support a child they did not want. Others will die attempting to self-induce abortions.”

Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution newspaper and a founder of

To get involved, join the Facebook Event in LA, or go to Stop Patriarchy.

Planet B   The planet is burning. March 29, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report, “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.” It shows that the rise in global temperatures due to fossil fuel burning and other human activities has already hit the planet’s food supply, water resources and oceans. Poor people are suffering the most, but no one will be untouched by rising seas, burning forests, deadly super storms, and worse, if drastic action is not taken.

Dr. Michael Mann will join us to discuss the report and the situation humanity is facing. Dr. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center.


doctor anonymous   We welcome Actors Matt Crabtree and Barry Pearl, and Director John Henry Davis of “Doctor Anonymous,” written by Guy Fredrick Glass. It’s a tale of love, liberation, opera and gay conversion therapy set against the backdrop of the 1972 Frank Rizzo campaign for mayor of Philadelphia and the dawn of Gay Pride.

“Doctor Anonymous” is playing at the Zephyr Theatre through May 4.

Michael Slate Show 3/26/2014: Filmmaker Hubert Sauper on South Sudan and Alan Goodman on Ukraine

To listen or download, or get the podcast, click here.

We Come As Friends   Part 2 of an in depth interview with the Filmmaker Hubert Sauper, whose last film, “Darwin’s Nightmare,” was nominated for an Academy Award. His latest film, “We Come As Friends,” takes place in the immediate aftermath of South Sudan’s independence and how on the day it was founded South Sudan became not only the newest country in the world but the target of imperialist gangsters from all corners of the world. Sauper was mining for stories in a land trapped in the past but careening toward an apocalyptic future. The result is “We Come as Friends,” which yields shocking and profound insights about the continuing impact of imperialism and colonialism in the region.


Ukraine   Journalist Alan Goodman, Revolution newspaper, analyzes what’s happening in Ukraine from a revolutionary communist perspective – the crisis in Ukraine is not about who started it but is a clash of reactionary predators and nothing good for the people can come out of what’s going on now.

The Michael Slate Show, March 19, 2014: Hubert Sauper, Dir., “We Come as Friends,” Part 1; Wendy Graf’s “Closely Related Keys”

To listen or download, or get the podcast, click here.

We Come As Friends

Hubert Sauper, the extraordinary documentary filmmaker whose film “Darwin’s Nightmare” was nominated for an Academy Award, talks about his latest work, “We Come as Friends.” In the immediate aftermath of South Sudan’s independence, Hubert Sauper piloted a tiny, homemade prop plane into remote areas of the new country. He was mining for stories in a land trapped in the past but careening toward an apocalyptic future. The result is “We Come as Friends,” which yields shocking and profound insights about the continuing impact of imperialism and colonialism in the region.

This is Part 1 of a two-part interview.

Closely Related Keys

Playwright Wendy Graf, and actors Diarra Kilpatrick and Yvonne Huff talk about Wendy’s new play, Closely Related Keys. It’s a drama about family conflict and clashing cultures, and an African-American attorney’s shocking discovery that she has an Iraqi half-sister.

The Michael Slate Show, March 12, 2014: Sunsara Taylor, State of Emergency in the War on Women; Ed Rampell, the Oscars and the Progies; Eve Gordon and Robert Joy of “The Ugly One”

To listen to or download this show, or get the podcast, click here.


Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper and founder of Stop Patriarchy, on International Women’s Day, 2014. She talks about the severely escalating War on Women over the last year, what’s behind it, the crying need for powerful resistance and why the world doesn’t have to be this way.

“There is nothing more brutal and backward, nothing more outrageous, nothing which more concentrates the howling and unbearable gap between the world that is possible and the world that actually IS… than the way billions of women are treated every day. ” –Statement on International Women’s Day From the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Read more


Ed Rampell, writer, film historian, and author of Progressive Hollywood, talks about the Oscars, as well as the Progie Awards for 2013’s best progressive films.

The Progies are annually awarded to films and filmmakers of conscience and consciousness by the James Agee Cinema Circle, “an international group of lefty film critics, historians and scholars.”Rampell, writer, film historian and author of Progressive Hollywood, talks about the Oscars and announces the recipients of the 2014 Progies, an annual award given in numerous categories to the best progressive actors and films of the preceding year.

Robert Joy Eve Gordon

Robert Joy and Eve Gordon talk about the scathing and over the top hilarious play The Ugly One. Imagine a world where one’s looks determine the quality of one’s life — not so hard to imagine in a place like the US.

The Ugly One is playing at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles.