Roseanne’s firing highlights the utter hypocrisy of the right. Hate speech does not equal free speech.

Last Week:

The NFL is awesome! A private organization totally has the right to fire or punish their employees for their speech. Freedom of speech only applies to the government, not to who you work for! Go NFL!

This Week:


Absolutely ridiculous.

The right is trying to have their cake and eat it too. So which is it? Free speech good or free speech bad?

For a progressive, which side is right? Here is how I see it. Free speech good. Hate speech bad. Employers should be able to punish their employees for hate speech. Sportsball anthem kneeling isn’t hate speech. It’s peaceful free speech. What Roseanne said on Twitter is absolutely racist hate speech, and she deserved to get the axe.

Not only should employers be able to punish their employees for hate speech, but so should the government. We have come to a point in time in America to where it would do more harm than good to modify the first amendment to allow for the criminalization and prosecution of hate speech. Hate speech should have no place in a free society and should not be tolerated. When a government allows hate speech, the government is essentially enabling, sponsoring and celebrating hate speech.

As a non binary individual myself, I am subject to ridicule, mockery, and insults on a daily basis, even in a progressive city like Seattle. Hate speech causes me to feel unsafe and threatened, as well as drastically lower my self esteem. Fortunately I have a strong support system, but for others who don’t, the hate speech directed their way could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of self harm or suicide. Therefore, hate speech is essentially a weapon being used and blood is on the hands of the hater if the target ends up committing self harm in any way. I have long championed for the criminalization of hate speech, but unfortunately a document written 230 years ago by a bunch of racist rich straight Christian white men prevent that from happening. The amendment process is in place, but not enough legislators have the courage to act. Any attempts to criminalize hate speech at the local level would be met with a swift strikedown by the courts. Therefore, all we can do is vote. VOTE! Vote for politicians who pledge to either scrap the constitution, or amend it to allow for the criminalization of hate speech.

As with many issues, Europe is showing us the way forward here. Many places in Europe do not have absolute free speech like we do here in the United States, and that is a good thing. Europe understands that not all speech should be tolerated, and have laid groundwork to prosecute citizens for speech they deem hateful or mean spirited. The alt right has rallied around racist bigot Islamophobe Tommy Robinson over the past few days, because the United Kingdom threw his ass in jail due to Islamophobia. Good on the United Kingdom for showing its people they will not tolerate any form of hate whatsoever. The United States now needs to take the baton.

The first amendment will still exist. You will still have the freedom to say what you want, as long as it is not filled with hate and malice. The only people who would possibly have a problem with that are people who have hate and malice in their hearts. If you are not a hateful person, you would not be affected in any way whatsoever. So why oppose such a measure?


Welcome to the Trump Economy. Good luck!

The Trump Economy is here, and it’s bad news for everyone not in the Top 1% of the Top 1%.

While CEO pay soars to record highs, 51 million U.S. households are an unexpected $400 expense away from financial ruin.

CEOs admit they won’t invest tax cuts into higher wages for their workers.

As anyone with a brain could have predicted, the Trump economy exists to prop up the ultra wealthy at the expense of everyone else. While CEO pay rises so they can purchase their 21st home, 9th yacht or 7th private jet, the middle class is scraping by and having to scavenge and scrounge just to make it to the next day.

The middle class has never been worse off, which just makes it extremely shameful that they bought Trump’s lies hook, like and sinker. Trump ran his campaign on appealing to the rust belt middle class workers that he would be their ally, but instead he is using them to enact his economic agenda that makes them expendable in order to prop up the super rich even more. We tried to warn the middle class that this would happen, but they could not be reasoned with. Trump played them for fools.

While Russia was the main reason Trump stole the election from the far more superior, qualified candidate, the middle class also has to shoulder some of the blame as well for being so stupid to fall for Trump’s smoke & mirrors. Shame on you, middle class. Shame on you. This is why education matters. We hear all the time about how not everyone needs to go to college, how joining a trade is a worthy, viable career, and how college isn’t for everyone. Well, the middle class that helped elect Trump is a good argument against that. If they had been property educated, they would have been able to see right through Trump’s lies. Instead, the lack of education made them vulnerable to Trump, his lies, and his racism.

We must do a better job ensuring every American is thoroughly educated by any means necessary, which can be accomplished through universal, free education all the way through college. No American should have to miss out on a college education due to a lack of funds. Had universal college been in place, I guarantee these blue collar working class whites would have instead gone with the more qualified candidate.

Until then, we must drill it into the minds of these working class blue collar types that they were fooled by Trump and shame them into not making the same mistake going forward. Don’t sugarcoat it either. Give them a good scolding shame. They deserve it. They should not be able to get away with this. Once properly shamed, then we can get on the road of re-educating them to make better political decisions going forward.

Wolfgang Lammerkugel is a retired professor and former co-host of The Professors Are In, who enjoys emeritus status at Public Radio Seattle.

Yes, I want to take your guns.

Fellow progressives, please listen.

Stop telling gun nuts “We don’t want to take your guns. We just want common sense gun regulations”.


Half measures won’t get anything accomplished. What have background checks gotten us? What has the assault weapons ban of ’94 gotten us? What have these half assed measures gotten us? Nothing but more and more deaths and more and more children slaughtered in classrooms.

You really want to make an impact? There is only one path forward – and that is the outright ban of all firearms in this country. Nothing else is going to do. If we simply ban assault rifles, the mass shooters will simply move onto handguns. Once handguns are banned, mass shooters will move onto shotguns. You get the idea. Only a full scale gun ban is going to solve the problem of gun violence in this country. If you are too afraid to state your support for such a position and use coward tactics like “We don’t want to take your guns! We just want common sense regulations”, then you are not a true progressive. You are a coward who is too afraid of the right.

This war against the right won’t be won with cowardice. It will be won with bravery, boldness and courage. We are in dire times in this country, with a fascist racist tyrant occupying the Oval Office and the most destructive political party on the planet in control of both the House and Senate. We don’t have time for games. We don’t have time for cowardice. Either you stand in full throated support for progressive policies and action, or you are enabling the right. There is no middle ground. You are for us, or against us.

This isn’t just limited to guns. This is limited to all facets of the progressive agenda. You have to stand in bold support of all progressive action without wavering. That’s the only way we are going to win this war. The right may have won the current battle. But if we stand in solidarity, we will win the war.

History is on our side. Time is on our side. The up and coming generations are on our side. The world is on our side. Why be afraid? The only thing opposing us are the right and the media. That’s nothing if we stand together. So dig your feet in, take up your positions and get ready to fight it out in the trenches. The future is at stake.

Bring it.

Trump is utterly embarrassed on the global stage….. again.

World – Infinity.

Donald Trump – Zip.

That is what the scoreboard looks like right now. Time and time again, Donald Trump has been utterly embarrassed and humiliated on the global stage, and this time at the hands of North Korea. The United States has become a total laughing stock in the eyes of the rest of the world. Let’s hope that there are no extra terrestrials out there who have the ability to listen in on our global affairs so the embarrassment remains quarantined to Earth.

North Korea and Kim Jong-Un performed the equivalent of giving Trump a giant wedgie, hanging him upside down on a flagpole, then dunking his head into a toilet and flushing it over and over before strapping him to a metal slide in the dead of summer and covering him with honey and fire ants. This isn’t just humiliation and embarrassment, its a complete and total dress down from head to toe.

It’s funny how Trump and his supporters were beating their chests and gloating about his peace making deals a few weeks ago. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. They even claimed Trump was a lock for the Nobel Peace Prize. Now? They all have egg on their face.

See, this is why electing politicians with experience matters. We could have had a seasoned, experienced, over qualified president with a deep and thorough resume on all matters including foreign policy. Instead, with the help of Russia, we got a president with no experience apart from ripping people off and bankrupting businesses. It’s no wonder Russia worked so hard to elect Trump – because of happenings like this. Happenings that embarrass the United States and make us look like a laughing stock. That projects weakness, which makes it easier for other nations to do what they want. But honestly, those countries deserve it. They deserve to take over America’s place in global standing. America is a land of racism, hate, bigotry and backward policies like no healthcare, a lack of human rights and no economic justice. European countries have earned the right to take over as the leaders.

The only thing we can hope for is that Mueller moves quickly so Trump can get impeached and we can get back on track to healing our image in the eyes of the planet. Let’s just hope Trump’s rampage of destruction comes to a halt until then. Unfortunately, it probably won’t.

Dear Republicans: Open. Your. Eyes.

I used to be a Republican.

I wasn’t just any other Republican.

I was a Rush Limbaugh worshipping, gun toting, liberal hating, ultra evangelical, deep dyed in the wool red blooded conservative Republican.

There was no one more conservative than me. And I was proud of it.

If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would eventually become a far left progressive democrat one day, I would have not only laughed, but probably punched you in the face. Yet, here I am.

What changed? What changed was the fact that slowly, over time, I realized how unreasonable, irrational and narrow minded my fellow Republicans were. It started with the backing of idiots like Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Murdouck. And how Republicans would go down with those ships in the name of ideological purity, throwing the elections away. It caused me to take a step back and examine why my fellow Republicans were clinging so tightly to conservative purity. That caused me to further examine my issues and become a bit more grounded.

Then the refusal to back common sense gun control after 6 year olds were mowed down like grass in a classroom at Sandy Hook. We had the chance to lead and show not just the rest of the country, but the whole word that we are ready to do what is necessary to prevent gun violence. Instead, we stuck our fingers in our ears and refused to budge, basically pissing on the graves of the dead kids.

2014 was close to my last straw. We had droves and droves of migrants coming to the border in a border crisis. We had plenty of Republicans willing to show they had a heart and pass the DREAM Act as well as common sense immigration reform. Yet, the hardliners shut that down. Once again, showing that Republicans were careless, heartless monsters who refuse to help others in need. Very “Christian” of them.

The 2016 election was my last effort to find any common ground with the Republican Party and Conservatism. I backed John Kasich as he seemed to be the only reasonable candidate in the field with a chance to win. But once it was clear that Republicans were jumping onto the orange faced buffoon named Donald Trump, I was done. I refused to remain in a party that supported such an idiot. I refused to remain in a party that further embraced racism, bigotry, hate, and idiocy. I refused to adhere to a political ideology that seemed to require no critical thinking, empathy or compassion. Not only did I leave the Republican Party, but I did my research and became a progressive democrat. I consider myself to be a critical thinker with a heart, and there was no better place for me to go.

What happened? I opened my eyes. I was willing to unchain myself from the shackles of ideological conservative purity. Once unchained, it was like I saw everything in a different light, from a different angle, in a different scope. My adherence to conservative purity and ideology was like a road block, and once removed I was able to have a sense of direction. It all finally made sense. I wish I had become a progressive democrat sooner. I threw out all my Republican gear, I married my wife, I hyphenated my last name, and begin to work hard for Hillary Clinton and Pramila Jayapal. I became a volunteer for Kshama Sawant. I became very involved in local Seattle progressive politics, joining arms with people I once despised due to political differences.

This is my message to all you Conservative Republicans and Trump supporters out there – don’t be afraid. Open your eyes and take a step back. You owe it to yourself to critically examine your beliefs and why you hold those beliefs. Think critically. There is a good chance you will come to the conclusion that conservatism isn’t all it’s hyped up to be.

If Trump was spied on, GOOD.

There are times in human history when the book has to be thrown out and all the stops must be pulled. Trump’s campaign was one of them.

I don’t subscribe to the ludicrous conspiracy theory that Trump and his campaign were spied on. But if they happened to be, good. Trump was(and still is) way too dangerous of a candidate to have done things by the book. I don’t care if laws were broken, norms were broken or ethics were shattered. Trump is a different animal. Any means necessary were required to stop him at all costs. He was and still is that big of a threat to life as we know it.

I only wish more was done to stop him. I wish more was being done right now to stop his path of utter destruction he has done to this country, this economy, to foreign relations, to our image and upstanding in the world, to minorities, to women, to LGBT individuals, and more. The Trump administration has been nothing but a wrecking ball and has driven this country into the ground and then some. So if laws need to be broken, if rules need to be thrown out, if civility needs to be disobeyed, then please, do whatever it takes to get rid of Trump. In an ideal world, we would wait for Mueller to complete his investigation and hand out the inevitable indictments like Halloween Candy. But we can not wait any longer. Every day Trump remains in office is a day the economy continues to be broken into shambles. Every day Trump remains in office is a day minorities continue to be persecuted. Every day Trump remains in office is a day we continue to look like utter fools to the rest of the world.

Whatever it takes. Do it. Do it now.

Public Radio Seattle Announces 2018-2019 Programming Schedule

By Frank Matthews-Lester

Public Radio Seattle continues to grow thanks to you. To celebrate our new programming schedule set to debut on May 29, we have also launched this blog as the digital home of Public Radio Seattle. This blog will feature articles, analysis, opinions, editorials and more from your favorite Public Radio Seattle hosts.

Monday – Friday

5a – 8a: Cafe Progress with Seth Travis Schweizenitz and Lethuel Kirkegard

8a – 10a: Mind Over Chatter with Seanathan Abernathy

10a – 12p: Atheism Unleashed with Grover R. Knoten

12p – 2p: I’m With Xir with Amalonda Fillimare

2p – 4p: LGBTQIA+ Radio with Travis Lester Sadczek

4p – 6p: The Professors Are In with Waldo Graham Schwake-Eulenberg and Roaro Kleibenschnott

6p – 8p: Leftward Ho! With Connor Jonathan Kitchens

8p – 10p: Sledgehammering the Right with Lonald Weiler-Sledge

10p – 12a: L4: Left, Liberal, Lesbian & Loud with Agnes C. Branscombe

12a – 5a: Midnight Blue with Yudelak Alondie, Jonathan Elwood-Sethson and Jake R. Weintraub


6a-10a: Cafe Progress Weekend with Blake Geoffrey Potsworth and Hiroshi Wessels

10a-1p: Cotswold McNamee Is Fed Up

1p-4p: The Rennis Rinke Experience

4p-8p: She-Man Right Wing Hater’s Club with Jesse Wamsutter

8p-12a: Radio Trans Mission with Sojourner Chloe Xiu

12a-5a: Midnight Blue Weekend with Isaac Engleberg and Walter Usiak