(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.


Twitter: @Gaius_Publius
Facebook: Gaius Publi

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

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18 Responses to “(Updated) RJ Eskow: Helping the kidnapped Nigerian school girls”

  1. Peter James Callahan says:

    actually most people will probably have better luck here: weactradio.libsyn.com

  2. kieraeastedi321 says:

    Uncle Ethan got a new gold Audi S8 Check This Out F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  3. Alex Lawson says:

    Here is the segment on YouTube


  4. 4th Turning says:

    What has Walt Whitman got to do with this discussion?

  5. 4th Turning says:


    Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act[edit]

    In January 2014, Jonathan signed into law the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act after it was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives. The law prohibits gay relationships, membership and other involvement in gay societies and organizations and gay marriages. Penalties can be up to 14 years in prison for gay marriages and up to 10 years for other violations of the law.[47] Within a short period, the federal police department compiled a list of 168 gay people who would subsequently be jailed. Within days, 38 lesbian and gay people were already jailed, with arrests beginning during Christmas. The anti-LGBT bill stipulates that those who withhold the details of LGBT individuals face prison terms of up to 5 years.[48]


  6. pliny says:

    So for anybody out there who doesn’t worship at the Jobsian altar, the podcast RSS can be found at: http://weactradio.weactradio.libsynpro.com/rss

  7. caphillprof says:

    You’ve just made a lot of work for a whole division of the NSA.

  8. MyrddinWilt says:

    The BBC World Service had a piece on this this morning. To understand why groups like Boku Harram have support it is necessary to look at the behavior of the Nigerian army. This has been ill-disciplined, corrupt and abominably led for decades.

    Until recently the Nigerian army response to the death of one of their soldiers in a fight with Boku Harram was to murder 100 civilians. So you can imagine what effect that had. So since 2012 they have been getting lessons in competent counter-insurgency management which seem to have had an effect.

    Unfortunately the group has had a rise in numbers and activity after Ghaddafi’s mercenaries (and remains of his army) fled Tripoli. The area that was attacked is in the part of Nigeria that is just below the Sahara desert. It is a bit like the non-desert parts of Nevada or Arizona. It is not country that can sustain an insurgency without support from the towns. This atrocity has hopefully cost them that support.

  9. pappyvet says:

    I heard a brief interview with a girl who escaped. She stated that when the men came into the school, one of them said that they were there to “rescue ” them. This could of course just been a lie to gain cooperation but I think that it was more likely a statement of belief. These feverish lunatics follow a system wherein women should be “rescued” from education , free thought and anything that would form an independent and capable human being. Christianity has refined this brutality by making the chain a bit longer but it is still a chain. I can only hope that one day I can see a world where women are respected equally and judged by the content of their character and not by their sexual apparatus. But I fear that it will be a long bloody road.

  10. 4th Turning says:

    You are nuts but I love you anyway.

  11. Bill_Perdue says:

    Socialists will have something to say about that.

    We’ll tax them till they drop, prosecute them for fraud and rape, confiscate their assets to pay their victims and promote awareness of STD’s, including HIV, secularize their schools and force ministers, imams, rabbis, evangelists, priest and bishops to get productive jobs and stop defrauding people.

    Of course some will think those ideas are too extreme and cultists will not like those ideas at all but they are the core of the leftist approach to cultism.

  12. 4th Turning says:

    And one we are unlikely to recover from anytime soon…

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    Proof positive, as if any more were needed, that the rabid superstition and anti-female, antigay bigotries of the abrahamic cults – judaism, christianity and islam – are one of humankind’s worst self inflicted wounds and one of our greatest tragedies.

  14. 4th Turning says:

    828. The number of days between September 1, 1939 and December 7, 1941.
    828. The number of days Americans had to wake up from its stupefying loathing of Jews
    its slavery/jim crow legacy, its total disdain for poor european immigrants, its worst disdain
    for its own laboring class and actually put an earlier end to the greatest threat to human
    civilization in all of human history.
    Socialist FDR and his lefty support base were pretty much left hanging-until Dec. 7.
    I am marking MAY 6, 2014 on my mental calendar as our generation’s September 1, 1939.
    I am doubting it will actually take 828 days before the country/the world get their first Pearl
    Harbor climate change wake-up call.
    Suggest for starters watching commodities futures… Especially wheat.

  15. dcinsider says:

    Any word on the Nigerian gay men being beaten by the government?

    Didn’t think so.

  16. Houndentenor says:

    We aren’t at the tipping point but this is starting to emerge into the mainstream. it’s shameful that it’s taking so long. I’m sure there are more important stories to cover like the sex life of some reality tv star, but it is starting to show up more and more on news sources. I keep thinking that at some point we as a species will finally say “no more” and mean it. I guess I’m not as cynical as I think I am. But it’s hard hoping for the best from us when we can’t seem to do something about the most horrendous human rights abuses. (see also, Darfur, Rwanda, et al.)

  17. 4th Turning says:

    29 Boys Killed as Boko Haram Attacks Boarding School in Nigeria

    Editor’s note: This story was first published on February 25, 2014. In recent light of the #BringBackOurGirls Movement and many peaceful protests around the U.S., our mission is to keep our readers informed. We find it necessary for the public to know that young boys are also being harmed.


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