204 episodes

An award-winning, expertly-curated podcast of progressive politics and culture. Diving deeply on a wide range of topics, we draw from more than 100 sources of progressive news and commentary. Est. 2006.

Best of the Left - Progressive Politics and Culture, Curated by Humans BestOfTheLeft.com

    • News
    • 4.6 • 3.2K Ratings

An award-winning, expertly-curated podcast of progressive politics and culture. Diving deeply on a wide range of topics, we draw from more than 100 sources of progressive news and commentary. Est. 2006.

    Teach No Evil, Protest No Evil, Vote Not At All

    Teach No Evil, Protest No Evil, Vote Not At All

    Air Date 6/9/2021

    Today we take a look at the motivations behind legislation being introduced in statehouses around the country to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory, criminalize the right to protest and limit the right to vote. Now if only there were some theory we could look to to understand the complicated interconnectedness of these subtly racist ideas...

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    SHOW NOTES

    Ch. 1: The War Over Teaching America's Racist History in Schools - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Air Date 5-5-21

    Most students in America are only taught about a handful of important Black Americans in history class. Here’s a look at why schools should teach students about race and why certain parents are opposed to that shift.

    Ch. 2: Critical Race Theory - Past Present - Air Date 5-25-21

    In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the current controversy over critical race theory.

    Ch. 3: Elly Page on Anti-Protest Bills - CounterSpin - Air Date 4-23-21

    If the Chauvin verdict is testament to the power of protest, so too are the vigorous efforts to squelch that power. Plus: Right-wing legislators target trans kids at the state level.

    Ch. 4: Not Ready For That Conversation - On The Media - Air Date 4-23-21

    Tami Abdollah [@latams], national correspondent for USA Today, on how Republican-controlled legislatures across the country have been introducing bills to criminalize protests — or as they put it, to stop the rioting.

    Ch. 5: GOP States Are Pushing for Stricter Penalties for Protesters - The Takeaway - Air Date 4-27-21

    The Takeaway spoke with Nora Benavidez, the director of U.S. Free Expression Programs at PEN America, and Elly Page, senior legal advisor at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, working with the U.S. Protest Law Tracker.

    Ch. 6: Weaponizing Trump's Big Lie: Ari Berman on GOP's War on Democracy & Voting Rights - Democracy Now! - Air Date 5-10-21

    Extreme voting restrictions have advanced in several Republican-led states across the U.S., including in Florida. Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman says these efforts are an extension of former President Trump’s “big lie” about voter fraud.

    Ch. 7: Is the GOP Insanity Being Driven By Trump or 40 Years of Madness? - Thom Hartmann Program - Air Date 6-4-21

    This “Trump grip” narrative is nonsense and it needs to stop —the Republican Party has made it crystal clear with their voter suppression efforts that they no longer believe in democracy. They are doing this because they want to.

    MEMBERS-ONLY BONUS CLIP(S)

    Ch. 8: Walk Out: Texas Democrats Block Passage of Voter Suppression Bill by Leaving Capitol Ahead of Vote - Democracy Now! - Air Date 6-1-21

    Trey Martinez Fischer says the legislation would have “a tremendous impact” on ballot access in the state. “Just like every bad policy, Hispanics, Latinos and Asian Americans will be disproportionately impacted," "the time for a national response is now."

    Ch. 9: How Corporate Media Protects Violent Cops - Carlos Maza - Air Date 6-4-20

    Police departments across America have declared war on unarmed protesters. They get away with it thanks to a corporate media ecosystem that helps shield cops from criticism and discredit the people protesting police brutality.

    VOICEMAILS

    Ch. 10: Lesson #3 The Value Proposition

    FINAL COMMENTS

    Ch. 11: Final comments



    SHOW IMAGE:

    Description: Iconography of a person speaking into a bullhorn with an arm up and other people icons listening to represent "protesting" with a red circle with a line through it over the image.

    Credit: "No protesting" by David

    • 1 hr 8 min
    The Rise of China and the Freak Out of the West

    The Rise of China and the Freak Out of the West

    Air Date 6/6/2021

    Today we take a look at the tensions building between the US and China with an emphasis on understanding the context in which China has grown from a Cold War afterthought into a force capable of challenging American hegemony.

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    Transcript

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    SHOW NOTES

    Ch. 1: Graham Allison: Is war between China and the US inevitable - TEDTalks - Air Date 11-20-18

    Taking lessons from a historical pattern called "Thucydides's Trap," political scientist Graham Allison shows why a rising China and a dominant United States could be headed towards a violent collision no one wants.

    Ch. 2: The world's great powers - Worldly - Air Date 2-18-21

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down one of the DC foreign policy world’s hottest new catchphrases: “great power competition.” It’s the idea that international politics in the 21st century will be dominated by a struggle for influence between the US & China.

    Ch. 3: The Century of Humiliation w/ Carl Zha - The East is a Podcast - Air Date 6-12-20

    Carl Zha is the host of the Silk and Steel podcast.

    Ch. 4: Why Is China Investing Billions in Africa - NowThis World - Air Date 12-16-18

    China has invested billions of dollars into the continent of Africa to build massive infrastructure projects in African countries.

    Ch. 5: China's trillion dollar plan to dominate global trade - Vox - Air Date 4-5-18

    It's about more than just economics.

    Ch. 6: Vijay Prashad Warns Biden Is Doubling Down on Trumps Anti-China Cold War Policy - Democracy Now! - Air Date 3-16-21

    Beijing has accused the U.S. of perpetuating a Cold War mentality as President Joe Biden and senior administration officials shore up alliances in the Pacific region to counter China’s growing influence

    MEMBERS-ONLY BONUS CLIP(S)

    Ch. 7: Industrial Policy: How the Green New Deal's Architects Would Do IP - ChinaTalk - Air Date 5-13-21

    Saikat and Zack take us inside the creation of the Green New Deal, lay out how bold leadership can change a nation's economic trajectory, lament Democrats' lukewarm appetite for industrial policy, and offer up their vision for a American developmental

    Ch. 8: What the West Can and Cannot Learn from China - Economics & Beyond with Rob Johnson - Air Date 2-8-21

    Rodney Jones, a long-time Asia analyst, colleague of Rob Johnson's, and currently Principal of Wigram Capital Advisors in New Zealand, discusses how China and other Pacific Rim countries succeeded in containing the Covid-19 pandemic

    VOICEMAILS

    Ch. 9: Don't forget all the work that goes into the show - Nick From California

    Ch. 10: #1358 and explaining the systems of power - Quai from North Carolina

    FINAL COMMENTS

    Ch. 11: Final comments on the Center for Humane Technology as a response to Surveillance Capitalism

    MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions):

    Opening Theme: Loving Acoustic Instrumental by John Douglas Orr
    Voicemail Music: Low Key Lost Feeling Electro by Alex Stinnent
    Activism Music: This Fickle World by Theo Bard (https://theobard.bandcamp.com/track/this-fickle-world)
    Closing Music: Upbeat Laid Back Indie Rock by Alex Stinnent
    SHOW IMAGE:

    Description: A Chinese flag waves just above an American flag in front of a background of trees.

    Image Credit: "American and Chinese flags" by futureatlas.com | Flickr



    Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

    Visit us at BestOfTheLeft.com

    Contact me directly at Jay@Be

    • 1 hr 5 min

    Alexa Is Not Your Friend (Digital vs Democratic Futures)

    Alexa Is Not Your Friend (Digital vs Democratic Futures)

    Today we take a look at the world of surveillance capitalism and the current age of techno-optimism that is just the newest iteration of the age-old effort to consolidate power and wealth by undermining individual freedom and democratic self governance.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Rise of Christian Nationalism (Repost)

    The Rise of Christian Nationalism (Repost)

    Air Date 7/2/2019
    Today we take a look at the ways in which Christians are being rallied to see themselves as the true victimized minority in America, a key component to stoking right-wing nationalism
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    SHOW NOTES
    Ch. 1: Rise of the Christian Taliban - The Intercept with Mehdi Hasan - Air Date 6-20-18
    Mehdi Hasan is here to warn you about a growing threat to the laws and values of the United States from a group of religious extremists and fanatics.
    Ch. 2: Reverse Discrimination Isn't A Thing - Boom! Lawyered - Air Date 4-11-19
    The religious right claims reverse discrimination in that they are being unfairly required to exist in the same world as trans people
    Ch. 3: Is Mike Pence Christian? - Thom Hartmann Program - Air Date 4-15-19
    Mike Pence argues that to be a Christian one must discriminate against gay people, prevent women from getting abortions or birth control, support tearing refugee children from their parents and prevent the working poor from having access to healthcare.
    Ch. 4: Mike Pence Whines Over How Hard It Is To Be Christian - The Majority Report with Sam Seder - Air Date 5-18-19
    Mike Pence insists that it's the Christians who are being discriminated against.
    Ch. 5: Educating and Engaging with Lyra McKee - This Way Out - Air Date 4-29-19
    Lyra McKee (full TEDx talk) shares her experiences transforming lives with conversations in religious spaces
    Ch. 6: Master Plan to Dismantle LGBTQ Rights - Boom! Lawyered - Air Date 4-25-19
    What are the LGBTQ cases heading to the Supreme Court? It's 2019 and people can be fired for not adhering to heteronormative gender ideas. Corporate, Christian, Conservative resistance is damaging and disgusting.
    Ch. 7: House Passes the Equality Act - This Way Out - Air Date 5-20-19
    The House passes the Equality Act in an effort to stop LGBTQ discrimination and ensuring their freedoms. GOP is pushing back with the fallacious idea that white Christians are being discriminated against.
    Ch. 8: Demand the Senate Pass the Equality Act & Protect Trans Health Rights - Best of the Left Activism
    Take action! Click the title and/or scroll down for quick links and resources from this segment.
    Ch. 9: Speaker Ryan Firing Chaplain is True Attack on Religious Liberty with Dr. Reverend Barber and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove - Thom Hartmann Program - Air Date 5-1-18
    Republicans are always claiming that everything progressives do is an attack on religious liberty, even sometimes just existing by some people is seen as an attack on "religious freedom'... in the meantime, Republican speaker Paul Ryan fires a religious leader fires a Chaplain over politics?
    VOICEMAILS
    Ch. 10: From depression to anxiety - Corey from New Jersey
    Ch. 11: Prisoners dilemma and the presidential election - Heather
    FINAL COMMENTS
    Ch. 12: Final comments on the overthinking many do during primary elections
    TAKE ACTION!
    Tell the Senate to Pass the Equality Act
    Protect Trans Health: Comment on Trump’s Discriminatory Rule
    EDUCATE YOURSELF & SHARE
    7 maps show the mess LGBT laws are in the USA (USA Today)
    The Senate should stand up for all Americans and pass the Equality Act (Rep. Patrick Maloney in The Hill)
    A History of Federal Non-Discrimination Legislation (93rd - 114th Congress) (Human Rights Campaign)
    Why Trump Is Rolling Back LGBTQ Health-Care Protections (The Atlantic)
    The Trump Administration Will Allow Health Workers To Refuse Abortion And Sex Reassignment Services (Buzzfeed)
    Black Trans Women Are Being Murdered in the Streets. Now the Trump Administration Wants to Turn Us Away From Shelters and Health Care. (ACLU)
    Researched & written by BOTL Communications Director

    • 1 hr 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
3.2K Ratings

3.2K Ratings

Taralainee ,

So good

I am really enjoying this pod. Recently discovered it, and it is very raw at times. All in all very REAL talk. Great guests. I really feel like it gives a voice to ppl that are marginalized, oppressed, and hits hard at the truth of the matter. Thanks!

Why do conservatives even bother to listen, then give negative reviews???? Seriously, get a life. Go listen to Rush, oh sorry I suppose that’s a wash. But Tucker is spewing some garbage you can undoubtedly get behind. Stop hating others that you disagree with. Grow up’

Wiesla ,

Comedy

Its comedy bits, scary that people actually treat the topics presented here as real things.

queer_af ,

Incredible

An amazing informative podcast

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