Phone booth being used as a toilet? Bicycles being thrown into rivers? Vending machines being driven into by cars? Today on the podcast, the great Matthew Dons riffs on the many things that just could not happen in Japan. Yet, actually happen in this world. Get those ears ready for a treat!
In the eyes of Matthew Dons, whomever you are in this world, if you could make it over to Japan, you absolutely should be here. Why? Because Japan.Today on the podcast, we take a long walk past the houses and trains, the fields and shrines, while looking at how things work here compared to anywhere else. There is learning but there is also a lot of laughing, mostly my own. Listen and enjoy.Reminder also, Matthew is fighting to live longer, in a relentless battle against cancer; you can help his family afford this struggle by going to http://matthewdons.org and join the almost 900 people that have already donated.
Before the city of Maastricht chose to pursue marijuana prohibition policies they first asked a team of researchers to examine what impact it would have. The researchers found that the proposed “membership” system for coffeeshops, which included banning all non-residents from going into establishments, would have disastrous effects on the cities public safety, health, and economic situation. In response, the government demanded new research with results that would support their new mission to shut down marijuana cafe’s that have existed since the 1990’s. Today there are a several municipalities that have adopted this prohibition policy that is scheduled to go national by January 2013, and the results are already being felt. Nicole Maalsté is a researcher from Tilburg University who has been examining the issue of drug policy and coffeeshops in the Netherlands over the course of several decades. She joins me on today’s podcast to explain what her work has revealed and just how the relationship between politics and research has led to a startling reality on the street level.
In 2011 the Republic of Honduras became the most dangerous country in the world. With the murder rate rising and wages plummeting, the miitary have now been granted extraordinary police powers. Multinational mining, agribusness, and textile corporations pay poverty wages while the government cooperates closely with the objectives of the US military. The result is what human rights observers like Gilda Batista have described as an unsustainable situation where something big is about to happen. From the streets of Tegucigalpa to the mines of the Siria Valley, something terrible is going on in Honduras, something the internaitonal headlines have been afraid to address.
To help better understand the situation on the ground and how things got this way, my guests on this podcast are:
Gilda Batista, Human Rights Defender, Prosecutor – Refuge Without Limits
Grahame Russell, Director – Rights Action
This podcast was co-produced by Jeremy Kryt, who’s investigative work on Honduras can be read on In These Times