Beneath The Surface with Suzi Weissman airs every Friday on KPFK Pacifica Radio from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Tune in at 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, and worldwide on KPFK.ORG. You can listen to archived shows online on the KPFK website.

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BTS 6/5/06: California Primary Election; The Last Spymaster

Listen: Marcy Winograd - Bill Bradley - Gayle Lynds

Tomorrow we go to the polls to pick the opponent to Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger in the fall. Neither candidate has generated much if any enthusiasm among Democrats. This election tells us much about the crisis of the Democrats and, more to the point, about the hollowed-out nature of electoral politics in general. There are some high points and we’ll try to cover them tonight with Bill Bradley.

But first we’ll talk to Marcy Winograd, who is challenging Congresswoman Jane Harman in the 36th district and doing so effectively.

Finally, for all you spy thriller novel enthusiasts, Gayle Lynds, arguably the finest espionage writer who always manages to anticipate global trends and intelligence tomfoolery, using strong women to boot, has just unleashed another one, The Last Spymaster. Gayle joins us in our last segment tonight.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

BTS 5/29/06: Memorial Day - Remembering the Dead; Iraq Analysis & Debate

Listen: Pablo Paredes / Ann Wright - Rahul Mahajan / David Finkel

On this Memorial Day we take an hour to honor the war dead and to consider the state of the war in Iraq. We begin with military veterans against the war – Sailor Pablo Paredes refused to deploy in protest and is actively engaged in anti-war protest; Colonel Ann Wright spent twenty-nine years in the military and sixteen in the Foreign Service. She speaks to us from Washington DC where she has spent the week in protest.

We then turn to an extended discussion of the state of the war and whether this military adventure will push the Middle East and the world toward an unimaginable catastrophe with David Finkel and Rahul Mahajan.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

BTS 5/22/06: Religion, Politics, and War; International Endowment for Democracy

Listen: Chris Hedges / Reza Aslan / Jonathan Kirsch - Bertell Ollman

Tonight we look at the vexing questions of religion, politics and war with Chris Hedges, Jonathan Kirsch and Reza Aslan. All three have original and illuminating analyses of the intersection of religion, war and politics today. Chris Hedges writes of the intoxication of war and the solidarity and comradeship on the battlefield – and at the same time worries that the Christian right in the US is more dangerous than political Islam in the Middle East. Reza Aslan’s latest book, No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, challenges dogmatic views on both sides of the political divide -- the right-wing conflation of the battle against terrorism with a Christian crusade, and liberals' fear of Middle Eastern groups that call for the establishment of a religious state. Aslan offers a surprising answer to the question: Why do they hate us? Aslan says it's really not about "us" at all. Islamic terrorism, he argues, is for the most part a symptom not of a clash of civilizations but an internal conflict within the Muslim world -- a centuries-old battle over the future of Islam. "In God Against the Gods, Jonathan Kirsch tackles the central issue bedeviling the world today -- religious intolerance. Filled with fascinating anecdotes, Kirsch traces the historical origins of this relatively recent malevolent human tendency focusing on the tipping points in history when people began to kill other people solely because they held different religious beliefs. We’ll have a roundtable discussion.

In the final segment on Tonight’s BTS we talk to Bertell Ollman about his new project, The International Endowment for Democracy, which deliberately mimics the name of Allen Weinstein’s National Endowment of Democracy, -- Bertell calls it the National Endowment for Hypocrisy Democracy. The IED was established to support democracy in the country that needs it most – the USA. Be sure to stay tuned for this illuminating (and yes humorous) discussion.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

BTS 5/15/06: Immigration - Reaction and Analysis to Bush’s Speech

Listen: George W. Bush Speech on Immigration - Antonio Gonzalez - Elsa Martinez - Gustavo Arellano - David Brooks

President Bush’s 20 minute speech on immigration tonight sought to satisfy his base, the right wing of the Republican Party who want to curb ‘illegal immigration’ -- without alienating those who support his plan to create a guest-worker program.

With his ratings at an all time low, Bush faces a breach in his party over what to do about the 11-12 million undocumented workers in the US – and predictably he concentrated on border enforcement, promising 5000 more border guards, activating the National Guard on the border, building high tech fences in urban areas and using motion detector technology in rural areas. There is nothing planned for the Canadian border – nor will the National Guard do anything to apprehend people crossing on the Southern one. Bush has asked for comprehensive immigration reform, but he needs to placate his base, who just want to get tough. The speech had more to do with the November elections than it did with actual border policy – but he did mandate the Senate to come up with a bill by the end of the month.

To understand the political dynamics of Bush’s speech, we’ll go beneath the surface with Antonio Gonzalez, Elsa Martinez, Gustavo Arellano and David Brooks.

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BTS 5/8/06: May 1 Immigrant Rights; Progressive Democrat Challenge 36th District; Cuban Revolution

Listen: Gustavo Arellano - Marcy Winograd - Samuel Farber

A week ago on May Day, millions marched, while businesses were shuttered for the Day Without an Immigrant protest/work stoppage. There were two marches in Los Angeles with something like a million marching. Five miles of LA’s Main thoroughfare -- Wilshire Boulevard – were shut down for five hours during the work day to accommodate the march. There were also marches and action in Orange County – the Mexican-bashing capital of the US that gave us both the Minuteman Project and Proposition 187. Gustavo Arellano, whose opinion piece is in today’s LA Times, joins us to compare notes and draw the lessons from an historic first of May.

We then turn to Marcy Winograd, who is challenging Congresswoman Jane Harman’s seat in the 36th District in the June 6 primary. Winograd, an LA teacher and Progressive Democrat decided someone has to challenge Harman’s acquiescence to Bush’s warrantless wiretapping and war, and is getting a lot of support. Other maverick Democrats are also challenging the sitting Democrats who are not effectively fighting the Bush agenda. Marcy Winograd joins us in studio.

And finally, on tonight’s BTS, we talk to Sam Farber about his new book, The Origins of the Cuban Revolutions Reconsidered. Farber takes a new look at the causes and course of the revolution and challenges the dominant view that US policy forced the revolutionaries into the Soviet embrace.

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BTS 5/1/06: PREEMPTED for May 1 Immigrant Rights Demonstration

On May 1, the regular broadcast of Beneath the Surface with Suzi Weissman was preempted so that Suzi and the KPFK staff could participate in the historic immigrant rights marches that took place in Los Angeles.

Please tune in next week, May 8, 2006 for a new edition of Beneath the Surface.

UCLA Book Fair interview 4/29/06: Religion, Politics and War

Listen: Roundtable with Chris Hedges, Reza Aslan, Jonathan Kirsch, moderated by Suzi Weissman and Terence McNally

On this special broadcast we look at the vexing questions of religion, politics and war with Chris Hedges, Jonathan Kirsch and Reza Aslan.

All three have original and illuminating analyses of the intersection of religion, war and politics today. Chris Hedges writes of the intoxication of war and the solidarity and comradeship on the battlefield – and at the same time worries that the Christian right in the US is more dangerous than political Islam in the Middle East. Reza Aslan’s latest book, No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, challenges dogmatic views on both sides of the political divide -- the right-wing conflation of the battle against terrorism with a Christian crusade, and liberals' fear of Middle Eastern groups that call for the establishment of a religious state. Aslan offers a surprising answer to the question: Why do they hate us? Aslan says it's really not about "us" at all. Islamic terrorism, he argues, is for the most part a symptom not of a clash of civilizations but an internal conflict within the Muslim world -- a centuries-old battle over the future of Islam. In God Against the Gods, Jonathan Kirsch tackles the central issue bedeviling the world today -- religious intolerance. Filled with fascinating anecdotes, Kirsch traces the historical origins of this relatively recent malevolent human tendency focusing on the tipping points in history when people began to kill other people solely because they held different religious beliefs.

She also spoke with Carl Bromley and Teresa Stack from Nation Books.

Read More for info about the authors:

BTS 4/24/06: Housing Bubble; Chernobyl 20th Anniversary; Armenian Genocide; George & Martha

Listen: Michael Hudson - David Marples - Armenian Genocide Commentary - Karen Finley

On tonight’s BTS we begin with the "New Road to Serfdom," the title of Michael Hudson’s cover article in the current Harpers. Michael writes that Americans were led into the housing bubble with the idea that debt is an investment. As the housing bubble collapses, he says we will be in debt peonage.

Then, we mark the 20th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl. David Marples joins us to talk about the accident and its legacy.

Later in the hour we speak to Karen Finley, performance artist and author, and Professor at the Tisch School of the Arts, about her new play-book published by Verso: George and Martha, a brilliant satire that imagines an affair between President George W and Martha Stewart.

And, today we remember the Armenian Genocide.

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BTS 4/17/06: Top Brass Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation; New Orleans Mayoral Race; Tax Day

Listen: Anthony Arnove - Malcolm Suber - Heather Boushey

On tonight’s program we look at the call for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign by seven retired Generals, including former leading commanders of the war in Iraq. Anthony Arnove joins us.

We then turn to the mayoral election in New Orleans on april 22 – a race that is also about race. We talk to Malcolm Suber.

And finally, today is tax day – and as millions of Americans rush to meet tonight’s filing deadline they are finding that taxes have flattened – millionaires and middle class Americans pay at nearly the same rates – and a stealth tax is eating up the income of nearly 19 million households. Economist Heather Boushey sheds some light.

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BTS 4/10/06: Immigration Protests; French Victory; Italian Elections

Listen: Danielle Hernandez - Sebastian Budgen - Judy Harris / Alan Minsky

On tonight’s BTS we look at a day of protest, victory and tension from the streets of the US to Paris, to Italy. Following historic-sized massive pro-immigrant marches in Dallas, San Diego, Salt Lake City, St. Paul, Miami, Boise and Des Moines yesterday, today is a national day of protest under the banner “today we act, tomorrow we vote.” Daniel Hernandez from the LA Weekly joins us in studio.

We then cross the Atlantic where student-worker protests in France have scored a huge victory: President Chirac withdrew and repealed the controversial law that would eliminate job security for young workers. Sebastian Budgen fills us in from Paris.

And finally on tonight’s BTS – a harrowingly close national election in Italy for the last two days may have produced a victory for Berlusconi against the Center-left – we won’t know for sure for hours, right now it is a split election – but Judy Harris in Rome has been following the ups and downs all day in this roller coaster election and we’ll get the latest from her. Alan Minsky will join us in studio for this segment.

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