The Signal

Bucks County Beacon, LLC

The Signal, a podcast by The Bucks County Beacon, will shine a light on the right-wing extremist currents streaming though Bucks County and beyond. Twice a month we will talk to guests who will help listeners navigate these perilous political waters by providing insight, analysis, and organizing solutions so that we can steer the community toward calmer, saner progressive routes. read less
NewsNews

Episodes

The Signal | American Patriots: A Short History of Dissent, with Ralph Young
4d ago
The Signal | American Patriots: A Short History of Dissent, with Ralph Young
Ralph Young is a history professor at Temple University. He is the winner of several major teaching awards, including the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, the Provost’s Award for Innovative Teaching in General Education, Honors Professor of the Year, the Lindback Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, and Temple’s highest honor, the Great Teacher Award. Young has taught at Temple’s Rome campus for the fall 2019 semester and has led several Education Abroad summer courses in Northern Ireland. He is the founder of the weekly campus-wide “teach-ins” at Temple in which students and faculty investigate the historical context of controversial contemporary issues. Dr. Young’s writings have appeared in such publications as The New England Quarterly, USA Today Magazine, the History News Network, and in blogs for the National Constitution Center, Salon, and Truthout.org. He is frequently interviewed and quoted by such media outlets as the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Reuters, the Associated Press, CBS, NPR, CNN, and SiriusXM.  His book, Dissent: The History of an American Idea, a narrative history of the United States from the standpoint of dissenters and protest movements, was a finalist for the 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. His other books are Dissent in America: Voices That Shaped a Nation, Make Art Not War: Political Protest Posters from the Twentieth Century, and most recently American Patriots: A Short History of Dissent. Today we speak with Ralph to talk about one of my favorite subjects: Dissent. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue  A People's History of the United States, by Howard ZinnResistance Stories from Black History for Kids, by Rann MillerDirect Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism, by L.A. KauffmanAmerican Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism, by Richard SeymourLeft Americana, by Paul Le BlancALSO LISTEN TO: EPISODE 22 - Black History Is a History of Resistance and Liberation, with Rann MillerEPISODE 4 - Sylvia Pankhurst – Suffragette Socialist and Scourge of Empire, with Dr. Kate ConnellyEPISODE 3 -  The Radical History of International Women’s Day and the Feminist Movement, with Liza Featherstone
The Signal | Black History Is a History of Resistance and Liberation, with Rann Miller
Feb 14 2024
The Signal | Black History Is a History of Resistance and Liberation, with Rann Miller
Black History is a history of resistance and liberation. This may explain why, in part, we’ve seen such a whitelash and a war against Black studies – and Black history in general – being waged by right-wing reactionary groups like Moms for Liberty, and Republican lawmakers.  Today I am joined by Rann Miller. Rann is an author, educator, and advocate for the education of Black children in the Delaware Valley Region. His experience as an author and writer spans over ten years and his experience in both K-12 settings and higher education settings spans over 15 years. As an educator, he’s served in various capacities, including faculty and administration. His current role is Director of DEI Initiatives. He is the author of the recently released, Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids.  Rann is also an opinion columnist for Atlanta Black Star. His writing has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, Education Week, Salon, and a host of other platforms. Rann is a graduate of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  Rann can be followed on Twitter @RealRannMiller. You can also keep up with Rann at linktr.ee/rannmiller.   Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Reading Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue: How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, by Clint SmithThe 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, by Nikole Hannah-JonesForce and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (America in the Nineteenth Century), Kellie Carter Jackson For 150 Years, Black Journalists Have Known What Confederate Monuments Really Stood For,  Donovan SchaeferTeachers, Students and the Central York Community Defeated a Racist Book Ban in Their School District, by Cyril MychalejkoALSO LISTEN TO:  EPISODE 2 – The Merchants of Deception: The Dark Money and Front Groups Behind School Privatization, with Maurice CunninghamEPISODE 6 – The Right’s Long War On Public Education, With Jennifer BerkshireEPISODE 7 – Understanding Backlash Politics And Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, With PRRI’s Melissa DeckmanEPISODE 8 – Students and Teachers Fight Back Against Book Banning in Central York, with Christina Ellis and Ben HodgeEPISODE 11 –Unmasking Moms For Liberty’s Extremism, With Olivia Little And Diana LeygermanEPISODE 21- Understanding the Nation’s Mounting Book Banning Crisis in Public Schools, with PEN America’s Sabrina Baêta
The Signal | America's Book Banning Crisis, with PEN America's Sabrina Baêta
Jan 17 2024
The Signal | America's Book Banning Crisis, with PEN America's Sabrina Baêta
While voters overwhelmingly rejected pro-book banning, Moms for Liberty-backed Republican school board candidates in Bucks County – and across the United States – at the polls in November, the country still finds itself in the midst of a book-banning crisis. Pennsylvania has the dubious distinction of cracking the Top 5 book banning states, coming in at #3 with a reported 644 instances of bans across 16 districts. PEN America published a report last month, Spineless Shelves, documenting this censorship scourge afflicting K-12 school libraries and classrooms. I spoke with one of the report’s authors to discuss the scope of this problem over the last two years and why librarians, teachers, students and communities need to remain vigilant and proactive in protecting student’s freedom to read. Sabrina Baêta is a Program Manager with Freedom to Read at PEN America. She engages in research and awareness-building around censorship attacks on public K-12 education, especially as it relates to literature accessibility in libraries and classrooms. Sabrina graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Music in Voice, and then from the University of Central Florida with a Master of Nonprofit Management. She is a poet, essayist, and writer and prior to PEN America, worked in educational publishing and in a variety of performing arts and education nonprofits. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Reading Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue: The Magic Pebble and a Lazy Bull: The Book Ban Movement Has a Long Timeline, by Laura Pappano‘Major Win’ in Florida Court Case Against Book Banning, by School Library JournalBook Banning Will Not Stop at Schools, Kelly JensenTeachers, Students and the Central York Community Defeated a Racist Book Ban in Their School District, by Cyril MychalejkoThe Bucks County Courier Times Fails Readers With Its Book (Banning) Policy Editorial, by Cyril MychalejkoORGANIZATIONS PEN AmericaAmerican Library AssociationAdvocates for Inclusive Education (Bucks County)Ridge NetworkThe Network for Public Education ALSO LISTEN TO:  EPISODE 2 – The Merchants of Deception: The Dark Money and Front Groups Behind School Privatization, with Maurice CunninghamEPISODE 6 – The Right’s Long War On Public Education, With Jennifer BerkshireEPISODE 7 – Understanding Backlash Politics And Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, With PRRI’s Melissa DeckmanEPISODE 8 – Students and Teachers Fight Back Against Book Banning in Central York, with Christina Ellis and Ben HodgeEPISODE 11 –Unmasking Moms For Liberty’s Extremism, With Olivia Little And Diana Leygerman
The Signal | Notes on Bucks County: Reflections on Politics in Pennsylvania’s Most Curious and Captivating Collar County, with Andy Warren and Hal Marcovitz
Nov 22 2023
The Signal | Notes on Bucks County: Reflections on Politics in Pennsylvania’s Most Curious and Captivating Collar County, with Andy Warren and Hal Marcovitz
A public works project that exploded into protests, mass arrests and political upheaval. A decades-long feud between two of the region’s best-known elected officials. Judges who feared their own constitutional rights were being ignored. The travels and travails of two candidates who went on to win statewide office, albeit with more than a few nervous moments along the way. Controversies that were sparked by such diverse issues as the drugging of racehorses, a nuclear freeze resolution and who exactly was it that spilled water on First Lady Barbara Bush. And, of course, a look at the 2020 election. These are among the issues authors Andy Warren and Hal Marcovitz examine in Notes on Bucks County. At one time, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was known for its lush farmlands, charming small towns, covered bridges and as a home to authors, artists and other celebrities. Over the past 75 years, the county has emerged as a sprawling suburban community that has found itself playing an important role in regional, state and national politics. Indeed, readers of Notes on Bucks County will learn that politics in Bucks County can be two-fisted, as local elected officials spar over issues that affect the quality of life for the county’s more than 600,000 citizens. Andy Warren attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Gardenville and later graduated from William Tennent High School in Warminster. Following graduation from Westminster College, Andy joined the faculty of Tennent as a teacher and cross-country coach. His political career began with election as a Warminster Township supervisor. In 1979 he was elected to his first term as a Bucks County commissioner, ultimately serving until 1995. He has also served as president of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Commissioners, chairman of the National Rebuild America Coalition, regional executive for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, director of the PENJERDEL Council and is the recipient of numerous awards for innovation and leadership. Hal Marcovitz is a former newspaper reporter and columnist who spent 30 years in journalism. During his career he was employed by the Pottsville Republican, Doylestown Intelligencer and Allentown Morning Call. He has received awards for news and column writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association. Since 1999 he has authored more than 200 nonfiction books for young readers. Since 2015 Hal has served as a judge for the Eric Hoffer Prize, a national literary competition. He is also the author of the novels Painting the White House and My Life With Wings.  Order Notes on Bucks County: Reflections on Politics in Pennsylvania’s Most Curious and Captivating Collar County at your local bookstore.  Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Reading Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue 30 years after bitter election Kostmayer and Greenwood unite at Bucks reunion, by Hal MarcovitzAbbie Hoffman's presence still echoes in Bucks County, by Ben FinleyHistory of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, edited by J.H. BattleBucks County must band together to ‘Ban the Bomb’, by Cyril MychalejkoThe American Fuehrer Fritz Kuhn's Neo-nazi Rally in Sellersville Was His Last Hurrah, Morning Call Staff ReportALSO LISTEN TO: EPISODE 1 – Immigrant Solidarity: From Bucks County to the Border with Sue-Ann DiVitoEPISODE 10 – Raising a Transgender Child in an Increasingly Transphobic Country, with Brett FreemanEPISODE 13 – Peace Activism from Bucks County to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with Barbara SimmonsEPISODE 14 – Fighting for Students’ and Teachers’ Rights in Central Bucks School District, with ACLU’s Witold Walczak
The Signal | A Conversation with André Gagné About His Book “American Evangelicals for Trump: Dominion, Spiritual Warfare, and the End Times”
Nov 8 2023
The Signal | A Conversation with André Gagné About His Book “American Evangelicals for Trump: Dominion, Spiritual Warfare, and the End Times”
André Gagné is Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Theological Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. His teaching and scholarship focus on political theology, religion and violence, and the interpretation and reception of the Bible. Dr. Gagné's work and interviews have been featured over 300 times in media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Guardian, and many more. Today we talk about his book American Evangelicals for Trump: Dominion, Spiritual Warfare, and the End Times. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, by Frederick ClarksonA New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement, by R. Douglas Geivett and Holly PivecThe Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, by Katherine StewartAmerican Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays The Gospel And Threatens The Church, by Andrew L. Whitehead QAnon, Chaos, and the Cross: Christianity and Conspiracy Theories, by Michael W Austin and Gregory L BockALSO LISTEN TO: EPISODE 5 – The Growing Fascist Threat To American Democracy, With Jeff SharletEPISODE 7 – Understanding Backlash Politics And Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, With PRRI’s Melissa DeckmanEPISODE 12 – The New Apostolic Reformation: A Revolutionary Theocratic Movement Coming For Pennsylvania, The Nation, And The WorldEPISODE 18 - The Christian Right’s Crusade for Power and War on Democracy, with Katherine Stewart
The Signal | The Christian Right’s Crusade for Power and War on Democracy, with Katherine Stewart
Oct 25 2023
The Signal | The Christian Right’s Crusade for Power and War on Democracy, with Katherine Stewart
Katherine Stewart is an investigative reporter and author who has covered the Christian right, politics, policy, and education for over a decade. Her latest book, THE POWER WORSHIPPERS: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, pulls back the curtain on the inner workings and leading personalities of a movement that has turned religion into a tool for political power and domination. Stewart’s journalism appears in the New York Times op ed, NBC, the New Republic, and the New York Review of Books. Katherine has been researching and reporting on the Christian right since 2009. She joins The Signal to talk about this movement, its strategies and tactics, and the very real threat it poses to democracy. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Christian Right The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, by Katherine StewartThe Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children, by Katherine StewartThe Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy, by Philip S. Gorski and Samuel L. PerryAmerican Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church, by Andrew L. WhiteheadEternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, by Frederick ClarksonALSO LISTEN TO: EPISODE 5 – The Growing Fascist Threat To American Democracy, With Jeff Sharlet EPISODE 7 – Understanding Backlash Politics And Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, With PRRI’s Melissa Deckman EPISODE 12 – The New Apostolic Reformation: A Revolutionary Theocratic Movement Coming For Pennsylvania, The Nation, And The World Support the Beacon: Your support of the Beacon is an investment in a progressive future for Bucks County – a future where we as a community continue to make strides in achieving social, economic, and racial justice with an environmentally sustainable future.  Please support us today: Support the Bucks County Beacon
American Carnage: An Officer’s Duty to Warn, with Steve Nolan
Sep 27 2023
American Carnage: An Officer’s Duty to Warn, with Steve Nolan
Steve Nolan spent 30 years in the military and 25 years as a mental health professional. He has published in numerous journals and his poetry was featured on National Public Radio, Morning Edition, upon his return from Afghanistan in 2007. He is the author of the books Go Deep,  Base Camp, and American Carnage, An Officer’s Duty to Warn. His work reflects his commitment to social justice. I talk to Steve about his book American Carnage and why he feels compelled as a retired military officer and mental health professional to speak out about the threat former President Donald Trump poses to U.S. democracy and why Trump is mentally unfit for office as Commander in Chief. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President - Updated and Expanded with New Essays, by Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., Organizer of Yale's "Duty to Warn" ConferenceThe Cult of Trump A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control, by Steven Hassan Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, by Justin A. Frank, MDUnthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy, by Jamie RaskinThe Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, by Jeff SharletALSO LISTEN TO:  EPISODE 5 - The Growing Fascist Threat To American Democracy, with Jeff SharletEPISODE 12 - The New Apostolic Reformation: A Revolutionary Theocratic Movement Coming for Pennsylvania, the Nation, and the WorldEPISODE 13 - Peace Activism from Bucks County to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with Barbara Simmons
The Signal | Fighting for Students’ and Teachers’ Rights in Central Bucks School District, with ACLU’s Witold Walczak
Aug 30 2023
The Signal | Fighting for Students’ and Teachers’ Rights in Central Bucks School District, with ACLU’s Witold Walczak
Central Bucks is under fire for allegedly creating a toxic environment for LGBTQ+ students, vindictively targeting a teacher, and spending more than $1 million for reputation laundering.  Witold Walczak is legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. Today I speak with him about the ACLU’s ongoing legal battles with Central Bucks School District, its latest complaint filed in court which charges the Republican-run district with illegally retaliating against a teacher for supporting a trans student, and Central Bucks’s million dollar disinformation campaign to avoid responsibility for creating a toxic, discriminatory environment for LGBTQ+ students – a charge currently being investigated by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.   Full transcript of the episode available HERE. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children, by Katherine StewartA Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School, by Jennifer BerkshireDark Money and the Politics of School Privatization, by Maurice CunninghamWhose America?: Culture Wars in the Public Schools, by Jonathan Zimmerman The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, by Jeff SharletORGANIZATIONS Advocates for Inclusive Education (Bucks County)Central Bucks Neighbors UnitedThe Network for Public EducationPFLAG ALSO LISTEN TO:  EPISODE 2 – The Merchants of Deception: The Dark Money and Front Groups Behind School Privatization, with Maurice CunninghamEPISODE 6 – The Right’s Long War On Public Education, With Jennifer BerkshireEPISODE 7 – Understanding Backlash Politics And Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, With PRRI’s Melissa DeckmanEPISODE 10 – Raising A Transgender Child In An Increasingly Transphobic Country, With Brett FreemanEPISODE 11 – Unmasking Moms For Liberty’s Extremism, With Olivia Little And Diana Leygerman
The Signal | Peace Activism from Bucks County to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with Barbara Simmons
Aug 9 2023
The Signal | Peace Activism from Bucks County to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with Barbara Simmons
Barbara Simmons served as executive director for 30 years of The Peace Center, an educational peace and justice non-profit organization in Bucks County. She was founding director of PeaceTalks radio producing radio documentaries from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Rwanda, South Africa, Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Canada and the United States, which aired on NPR, PRI and many other stations. Currently, Barbara is involved as an Ambassador to L.O.V.E. Is The Answer, the executive board of the NAACP, Chair of Communications for Newtown Dems, board member of Divorce Recovery Center, serves on DEI Committee of Bucks County Women's Advocacy Coalition and the Mercer Museum Advisory Committee, and is on the Board of the Nakashima Foundation for Peace.  Today I talk to Barbara about why she memorializes the barbaric bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and her life as a long-time peace activist. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Peace Hiroshima, by John HerseyFallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World, by Lesley M.M. BlumeAmerican Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Kai Bird and Martin J. SherwinLiving Peace: A Spirituality of Contemplation and Action, by John DearThe Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, by Jonathan SchellARTICLES A Life Committed to Peace, with Barbara Simmons, by Cyril MychalejkoWhy I Commemorate The Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki, by Barbara SimmonsBucks County must band together to ‘Ban the Bomb, by Cyril MychalejkoPoem: Stained Glass, by Steve NolanCreating A Nuclear Weapon Free World, with Ira Helfand, by Cyril MychalejkoHiroshima’s Lessons of Unnecessary Mass Destruction Could Help Guide Future Nuclear Arms Talks, by Tara SonenshinePeace and Nonviolence, with Rev. John Dear, by Cyril MychalejkoStealing God’s Stuff: Is E. B. White the Forgotten Prophet of Our Nuclear Doom?, by Lesley M.M. BlumeCounting the Dead at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by Alex WellersteinA time of Unprecedented Danger: It Is 90 Seconds to Midnight, by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists The Signal is produced by Kevin Mahoney, Raging Chicken Media. Music by Maf é Tulà and Cartas a Felice, "La Loca." Panela Music.  Follow us on Twitter: @BucksCoBeacon@cmychalejko @RCpress
The Signal | The New Apostolic Reformation: A Revolutionary Theocratic Movement Coming for Pennsylvania, the Nation, and the World, with Frederick Clarkson
Jul 26 2023
The Signal | The New Apostolic Reformation: A Revolutionary Theocratic Movement Coming for Pennsylvania, the Nation, and the World, with Frederick Clarkson
Frederick Clarkson is a senior research analyst at Political Research Associates, a social justice research and strategy center that exposes the agenda and strategies of the U.S. and global Right, revealing the dangerous intersections of Christian nationalism, white nationalism, and patriarchy. He has written about politics and religion for four decades. Clarkson is the author, co-author or editor of several books including Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America and Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy. Today we talk about a Christian theocratic movement that wants to build a "kingdom revolution" led by an "army of believers," starting in Pennsylvania, before spreading across the nation and then the world. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the New Apostolic Reformation Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, by Frederick ClarksonA New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement, by R. Douglas Geivett and Holly PivecBeyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity Is Taking Over the World, by Elle HardyAmerican Evangelicals for Trump Dominion, Spiritual Warfare, and the End Times, André GagnéThe Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, by Katherine StewartALSO LISTEN TO:  EPISODE 5 - The Growing Fascist Threat To American Democracy, With Jeff SharletEPISODE 7 - Understanding Backlash Politics And Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, With PRRI’s Melissa Deckman ARTICLES "Unfriending" America: The Christian Right Is Coming for the Enemies of God — Like You and Me, by Frederick ClarksonPennsylvania’s Prayer Warrior: Abby Abildness And Her Dominionist Crusade In The Commonwealth, by Jennifer CohnStatement on NAR & Christian Nationalism Answers Few Questions But Exposes Growing Rifts in the Movement, by André Gagné and Frederick ClarksonChristian Right Denialism is More Dangerous Than Ever: A Reporter’s Guide to the New Apostolic Reformation, by André Gagné and Frederick ClarksonWhen It Comes to Societal Dominion, The Details Matter: A Reporter’s Guide to the New Apostolic Reformation, Part II, by André Gagné and Frederick ClarksonThe Christian Right And Its Top Crusader Seek To Conquer Pennsylvania, by Cyril Mychalejko and Frederick Clarkson  Dominionism Is on the Ballot in November, but Most Voters Have Never Heard of It, by Jennifer Cohn The Signal is produced by Kevin Mahoney, Raging Chicken Media. Music by Maf é Tulà and Cartas a Felice, "La Loca." Panela Music.  Follow us on Twitter: @BucksCoBeacon@cmychalejko @RCpress
The Signal | Unmasking Moms for Liberty’s Extremism, with Media Matters’s Olivia Little and Bucks County’s Diana Leygerman
Jul 12 2023
The Signal | Unmasking Moms for Liberty’s Extremism, with Media Matters’s Olivia Little and Bucks County’s Diana Leygerman
“Lots of normal people, it’s great.” That's a direct quote from Bucks County Moms for Liberty member and Northampton Township GOP committee member Megan Brock celebrating the so-called normalcy of the right-wing culture warrior moms at the summit in Philadelphia. So what is this "new normal" for Brock and the Moms for Liberty Qlan that she is part of? Today we welcome two guests to the show to dig into the Moms for Liberty summit and their continued impact on our school boards and communities. On the first half of the show we'll talk to Olivia Little, a writer and researcher with Media Matters who was undercover inside the group’s summit in Philadelphia. On the second half we are joined by Diana Leygerman, a writer, teacher, and Central Bucks School District Mom who refuses to co-parent with Moms for Liberty. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on Moms for Liberty’s Extremism The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, by Katherine StewartSisters in Hate: American Women and White Extremism, by Seyward DarbyThe Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, by Jeff SharletDark Money and the Politics of School Privatization, by Maurice CunninghamA Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School, by Jennifer BerkshireORGANIZATIONS Advocates for Inclusive Education (Bucks County)Central Bucks Neighbors UnitedThe Network for Public Education ALSO LISTEN TO:  EPISODE 2 - The Merchants of Deception: The Dark Money and Front Groups Behind School Privatization, with Maurice CunninghamEPISODE 6 - The Right’s Long War On Public Education, With Jennifer BerkshireEPISODE 7 - Understanding Backlash Politics And Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, With PRRI’s Melissa Deckman ARTICLES Inside Moms for Liberty’s summit: Big money and even bigger conspiracy theories, by Olivia LittleAstroturfing in Central Bucks School District: Moms for Liberty and Book Bans, by Diana LeygermanAt The Moms For Liberty Summit, Comprehensive Sexual Education Is CRT And Sexualization Of Children, by Pat LaMarcheAs Moms For Liberty Meets In Philadelphia, Don’t Underestimate Their Extremism And The Threat They Pose, by Peter GreeneAt Moms for Liberty Summit ‘Mama Bears’ Declare Spiritual War on the ‘Radical Left’, by Annika Brockschmidt“On brand and dangerous”: Moms for Liberty platforming extremists shows "just how radical” group is, by Areeba ShahMoms For Liberty Bucks County Leaders Think Public Schools Are Trying To Bring Pedophilia Into The Classrooms, by Cyril MychalekoIt Takes A Village: Expelling Right-Wing Extremism From Bucks County School Districts, by Cyril MychalejkoPulling Back The Curtain On The Leadership Institute’s Dominion Over Moms For Liberty, by Maurice Cunningham To Understand Groups Like Moms For Liberty And The Republican Party’s MAGA Base, Look To The John Birch Society, by Dr. Michael Gambone The Signal is produced by Kevin Mahoney, Raging Chicken Media. Music by Maf é Tulà and Cartas a Felice, "La Loca." Panela Music.  Follow us on Twitter: @BucksCoBeacon@cmychalejko @RCpress
The Signal | Raising a Transgender Child in an Increasingly Transphobic Country, with Brett Freeman
Jun 28 2023
The Signal | Raising a Transgender Child in an Increasingly Transphobic Country, with Brett Freeman
Brett Freeman (He/Him) is a resident of Buckingham Township (in Bucks County, PA), a parent, a husband, a foodie, and an avid Philadelphia sports fan.  He is also a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (1994) and The Wharton Management Program (1997) at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, he is a state certified residential real estate appraiser and valuation expert, and actively practices regionally throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.  Beginning this year, he also serves on the DEI Committee for the Greater Philadelphia Board of Realtors.  Today we speak with Brett about what it’s like raising a transgender child in an increasingly transphobic country, and specifically his experiences in Bucks County’s Central Bucks School District.  Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue Melissa, by Alex GinoHelping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents, by Irwin Krieger Transgender History, by Susan StrykerNormal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law, by Dean SpadeThe Stonewall Reader, edited by the New York Public LibraryARTICLES I’m a trans teen in Central Bucks. Here, it doesn’t ‘get better.’, by Lily FreemanAs A Mom Of A Central Bucks School District LGBTQ Student, There Is Systemic Discrimination Against Her, by Mindy Freeman‘Books Save Lives’: Bucks County Mom Tells Congress Why Book Banning Must Stop, by Mindy FreemanPFLAG Bucks County Leads With Love In Supporting The Local LGBTQ+ Community, by Rachel Fitzpatrick and Jessica DziobeckiAnti-LGBTQ Hate, Threats, And Violence Are On The Rise This Pride Month, by Catherine CarusoPride In Peril: Reflections on the Anti-LGBTQ+ Panic, by Daniel ParkerLGBTQ+ Youth Must Protest For Pride Like Their Lives Depend On It, by Leo Burchell ORGANIZATIONS PFLAGCentral Bucks Neighbors United The Signal is produced by Kevin Mahoney, Raging Chicken Media. Music by Maf é Tulà and Cartas a Felice, "La Loca." Panela Music.  Follow us on Twitter: @BucksCoBeacon@cmychalejko @RCpress
The Signal | Feminicide, Impunity, and the United States in Guatemala, with Victoria Sanford
Jun 14 2023
The Signal | Feminicide, Impunity, and the United States in Guatemala, with Victoria Sanford
Victoria Sanford is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and Professor of Anthropology at City University of New York. She has given expert testimony on the Guatemalan genocide in international courts and authored seven books, including Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala, and most recently, Textures of Terror: The Murder of Claudina Isabel Velasquez and Her Father's Quest for Justice, which was just published in May. I speak with Victoria about her new book, the U.S.'s bloody history in Guatemala, and the endemic of feminicide and impunity in this Central American nation. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on Guatemala (in addition to Victoria’s books) Guatemala: Never Again, by Recovery of Historical Memory Project (REMHI) Human Rights Office, Archdiocese of GuatemalaI, Rigoberta Menchú, by Rigoberta MenchúBitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, by Stephen KinzerWar by Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala, edited by Carlota McAllister, Diane M. NelsonPaper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala, by Kirsten WeldALSO LISTEN TO: EPISODE 1 – Immigrant Solidarity: From Bucks County to the Border with Sue-Ann DiVito ARTICLES The Dark Truth Behind Migration through a Father’s Quest for Justice, by Victoria SanfordGuatemalan Femicide: The Legacy of Repression and Injustice, by Cyril Mychalejko ORGANIZATIONS Immigrant Rights Action (Bucks County)Rights ActionGuatemalan Human Rights CommissionNISGUA (The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala)WOLA (Washington Office on Latin America) The Signal is produced by Kevin Mahoney, Raging Chicken Media. Music by Maf é Tulà and Cartas a Felice, "La Loca." Panela Music.  Follow us on Twitter: @BucksCoBeacon@cmychalejko @RCpress
The Signal | Students and Teachers Fight Back Against Book Banning in Central York, with Christina Ellis and Ben Hodge
May 24 2023
The Signal | Students and Teachers Fight Back Against Book Banning in Central York, with Christina Ellis and Ben Hodge
Today host Cyril Mychalejko talks to Christina Ellis and Ben Hodge about how and why students and teachers must organize and mobilize themselves and the larger community to resist book bans and other reactionary right-wing assaults on public education.  Christina Ellis is an 18-year-old African-Caribbean American college student and activist. She was the former vice-president of Central York High School’s Panther Anti-Racist Union student club, better known as PARU. She and PARU worked together to reverse a book ban that the Central York School District placed on books/resources that promoted diversity and inclusion. While at Central York High School, she helped organize a peaceful protest that advocated reversing the ban. Christina and others continue to educate students and the public on the importance of diversity education and inclusion within her community. She is now at university working towards a career in medicine and will continue to advocate for minorities in medicine. Ben Hodge is the founder and faculty advisor of the Panther Anti-Racist Union. A 20-year veteran of the classroom, he teaches Acting classes at Central York High School and serves as the Artistic Director for the Central York Performing Arts program. Ben is passionate about the acting profession and enjoys training and mentoring young actors, and teaching them to take control of their everyday lives through theater. A staunch advocate of the Diversity programming in the Central York School District since 2006, he has focused primarily on diversity education, mediation, and social-emotional awareness. After the murder of George Floyd, he wanted to create a safe space where students could come together and have meaningful discussions around social justice initiatives outside of their regular classes. This is how the Panther Anti-Racist Union was born.  The Signal is a podcast by The Bucks County Beacon. Twice a month we will use this space to shine a light on the right-wing extremist currents streaming though Bucks County and beyond. We will talk to guests who will help listeners navigate these perilous political waters by providing insight, analysis, and organizing solutions so that we can steer the community toward calmer, saner progressive routes. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Reading Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on the Issue: Teachers, Students and the Central York Community Defeated a Racist Book Ban in Their School District, by Cyril MychalejkoWhy Diversity in Education Matters, by Christina EllisQ&A with Central York Student Organizer Edha Gupta, by Cyril MychalejkoCentral York High Schoolers Protest Book Bans (Again). Here’s What They Have to Say, by Kelly JensenIt Takes A Village: Expelling Right-Wing Extremism From Bucks County School Districts, by Cyril MychalejkoALSO LISTEN TO: EPISODE 2 - The Merchants of Deception: The Dark Money and Front Groups Behind School Privatization, with Maurice CunninghamEPISODE 6 - The Right’s Long War On Public Education, With Jennifer BerkshireEPISODE 7 - Understanding Backlash Politics And Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, With PRRI’s Melissa Deckman The Signal is produced by Kevin Mahoney, Raging Chicken Media. Music by Maf é Tulà and Cartas a Felice, "La Loca." Panela Music.  Follow us on Twitter: @BucksCoBeacon@cmychalejko @RCpress
The Signal | Understanding Backlash Politics and Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, with PRRI’s Melissa Deckman
May 3 2023
The Signal | Understanding Backlash Politics and Religious Conservatives Inciting School Board Wars, with PRRI’s Melissa Deckman
Melissa Deckman, Ph.D., is the CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy. Her first book, School Board Battles: The Christian Right in Local Politics, won the American Political Science Association’s Hu Morken Award for best book on religion and politics. Melissa is also author of Tea Party Women, which examines the role of women in conservative politics and co-author of  Women and Politics, a top-selling textbook on gender politics in the United States. Deckman's commentary and research about politics has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Hill, Vice News, The Wall Street Journal, 538, and Politico, among other outlets. Prior to her appointment as PRRI’s CEO, Deckman was the Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs and chair of the Political Science Department at Washington College, where she taught courses on American politics, women and politics, religion and politics, research methods, and state and local politics. Melissa and I talk about the ideology and worldview conservative activist parents are promoting, and how if you cut through the noise they are making you realize they are in the minority.  Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on Today’s War on Public Education in America The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, by Katherine StewartDark Money and the Politics of School Privatization, by Maurice CunninghamA Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School, by Jennifer BerkshireJesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, by Kristin Kobes Du MezFrom the New Deal to the War on Schools: Race, Inequality, and the Rise of the Punitive Education State, by Daniel S. MoakALSO LISTEN TO: EPISODE 2 - The Merchants of Deception: The Dark Money and Front Groups Behind School Privatization, with Maurice Cunningham EPISODE 6 - The Right’s Long War On Public Education, With Jennifer Berkshire The Signal is produced by Kevin Mahoney, Raging Chicken Media. Music by Maf é Tulà and Cartas a Felice, "La Loca." Panela Music.  Follow us on Twitter: @BucksCoBeacon@cmychalejko @RCpress
The Signal | The Right’s Long War on Public Education, with Jennifer Berkshire
Apr 19 2023
The Signal | The Right’s Long War on Public Education, with Jennifer Berkshire
Jennifer Berkshire writes about the intersection of education and politics for the Nation, the New Republic, the New York Times, and other publications. She is the creator and co-host of the education policy podcast Have You Heard, and the co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School. Jennifer teaches in the journalism program at Boston College and in the Education Studies program at Yale University. Her next book, The Education Wars: A Citizen’s Guide and Defense Manual, will be out in 2024. Today we speak to her about the Right’s Long War on Public Education and how to fight back and win! The Signal is a podcast by The Bucks County Beacon. Twice a month we will use this space to shine a light on the right-wing extremist currents streaming though Bucks County and beyond. We will talk to guests who will help listeners navigate these perilous political waters by providing insight, analysis, and organizing solutions so that we can steer the community toward calmer, saner progressive routes. Host Cyril Mychalejko’s 5 Book Recommendations to Further Shine a Light on Public Education in America Dark Money and the Politics of School Privatization, by Maurice CunninghamLeft Back: A Century of Battles over School Reform, by Diane RavitchWhose America?: Culture Wars in the Public Schools, by Jonathan ZimmermanTeaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, by bell hooks The Teachers,  by Alexandra RobbinsLISTEN TO EPISODE 2 - The Merchants of Deception: The Dark Money and Front Groups Behind School Privatization, with Maurice Cunningham The Signal is produced by Kevin Mahoney, Raging Chicken Media. Music by Maf é Tulà and Cartas a Felice, "La Loca." Panela Music.  Follow us on Twitter: @BucksCoBeacon@cmychalejko @RCpress