(Updated) RJ Eskow: Helping the kidnapped Nigerian school girls

Update: Via commenter Alex Lawson, the segment is now available via YouTube. Click here to watch.

This piece has two purposes. I want to jump on something we covered earlier on this site — the 300 school-age girls abducted in Nigeria — and to re-introduce you to one of my favorite commenters, RJ Eskow, and his new radio show, The Zero Hour.

First, about RJ Eskow. Regular readers may remember that I interviewed Eskow last year at Netroots Nation for a Five Questions segment. In it, he made a statement that I still find startling and memorable — that we have to make “Pascal’s Wager with the future” (click to see what a Pascal’s Wager is).

Here’s that clip. Do listen; it’s very brief. The first voice is mine; the second is Eskow’s:

As I wrote when I first featured this clip: “Isn’t it obvious that if we don’t act, we can’t win? The antidote for depression is action.” Or, in another context, Auburn doesn’t beat Alabama if the team doesn’t play until the actual end of the game.

Eskow is a data-driven guy, as you’ll see here, and comes to strong progressive conclusions based on what the world tells him, rather than from his presumptions. He’s also an excellent and clear writer. That combination is priceless.

About The Zero Hour

The Zero Hour is the new weekend radio show launched at We Act Radio, WPWC, AM 1480 on the dial in the DC area, or via Internet at WeActRadio.com. The Zero Hour show airs on Saturday at noon to 3 pm, and is available via iTunes.

Speaking of iTunes, the show launched as the #1 podcast overall and the #1 podcast in the “News and Politics” category. Not bad. To add The Zero Hour to your podcast downloads, click here.

zero-hour_8bitWhy the title “The Zero Hour”? As a climate writer the answer is a no-brainer. To every progressive who thinks we have thirty years to build left-wing infrastructure the way right-wing infrastructure was built, we don’t. From a climate standpoint, this really is the Zero Hour.

Obama is the president with the Last Clear Chance, and even with the National Climate Assessment, he’s blowing it. More on that later, but for a preview check out the “mitigation” section, which offers little mitigation.

According to the report, global CO2 emissions have recently reached 34 billion tons/year. Obama wants to limit emissions to (ready?) … 44 billion tons/year before making them (requesting that they) decline. Talk about protecting Koch-owned future profits. Mr. Legacy rides again.

Here’s Eskow on his show’s title, writing at the their main site:

“Humanity is at a turning point. This is a critical moment on many important fronts. From economic crises to the future of evolution, from spiritual upheavals to scientific breakthroughs, from the fate of democracy to the survivability of the planet itself … this is The Zero Hour.”

Couldn’t agree more. I especially like the mention of “spiritual upheavals.” Until the mass resistance really kicks in, we do seem to be having a crisis of spirit these days.

About those Nigerian school girls

The capture of 300 school girls by the Nigerian version of the Taliban is shocking. As reported here:

Islamic terrorists kidnapped 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria last month, as part of a larger terrorist insurgency to take over northern Nigeria and turn it into a medieval Islamic state governed by sharia law. …

The Nigerian government, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, has done little to find the girls.  But the Nigerians did manage to arrest someone protesting the government’s lack of action in finding the girls. AP reports that Nigeria’s First Lady ordered the arrests. The First Lady then suggested that the kidnapping never happened in the first place, and were simply a hoax.

Tomorrow, Saturday May 10, RJ will interview Amnesty International’s Cristina Finch, who will discuss this event and what can be done to help these girls. From Amnesty’s press release:

The future and safety of the hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram remains in limbo. Cristina Finch, managing director of Amnesty International USA’s identity and discrimination unit, which focuses on women’s human rights, will talk about Amnesty’s efforts to raise awareness about the crisis in Nigeria, the pervasive nature of violence against women and girls, the reasons ending gender-based violence is a top priority for Amnesty International’s human rights work, and Amnesty’s efforts to encourage passage of the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), due to be reintroduced in the Senate this week.

Please tune in to the program, or download and listen later. Ms. Finch is not only a managing director at AIUSA, she’s also an adjunct law professor at George Mason University School of Law. I’m looking forward to the discussion.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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