The Signal

The Signal

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.

Episodes

February 14, 2024 38 mins

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 a...

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While voters overwhelmingly rejected pro-book banning, Moms for Liberty-backed Republican school board candidates in Bucks Countyand 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 publi...

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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 t...

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 ta...

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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...

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The Civic Circle is a new youth-led podcast by the Bucks County Beacon tackling politics and policy from a Gen-Z lens. Sarah Zhang, Mallorie Marsan, and Alexandra Coffey are students from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Once a month they will chat about activism, advocacy, and all the political happenings affecting their generation today. They focus on PA politics and want the podcast to serve as a call to action for all young people t...

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Julie C. Suk is Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law and is a leading expert on gender and constitutional law in the United States and around the world. In 2020 she published, We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment, which was the first book to chronicle and assess the twenty-first-century revival of the Equal Rights Amendment. Today, we talk about her new book: After Misogyny: How the La...

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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 Car...

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The Civic Circle is a new youth-led podcast by the Bucks County Beacon tackling politics and policy from a Gen-Z lens. Sarah Zhang, Mallorie Marsan, and Alexandra Coffey are students from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and once a month they will chat about activism, advocacy, and all the political happenings affecting their generation today. They will be focusing on PA politics and want the podcast to serve as a call to action for all...

Mark as Played

The Civic Circle is a new youth-led podcast by the Bucks County Beacon tackling politics and policy from a Gen-Z lens. Sarah Zhang, Mallorie Marsan, and Alexandra Coffey are students from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and once a month they will chat about activism, advocacy, and all the political happenings affecting their generation today. They will be focusing on PA politics and want the podcast to serve as a call to action for all...

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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 ille...

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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 Ambas...

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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 Dispatc...

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“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 ...

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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 Pennsylva...

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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 s...

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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 ...

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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...

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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 Studie...

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On this episode, Bucks County Beacon Editor Cyril Mychalejko welcomes Jeff Sharlet to the show. Jeff (@JeffSharlet) is the bestselling author or editor of eight books, including The Family, made into a Netflix documentary series. He's the Frederick Sessions Beebe '35 Professor in the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. His newest book is The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, described...

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