Category: Authors

David Feldman Show: Jerry Stahl

The brilliant writer Jerry Stahl, best known for his memoir of addiction Permanent Midnight. His latest books are “Bad Sex On Speed” and “Happy Baby Mutant Pills: A Novel.” Also on our show Carol Rafael Davis on Los Angeles’s spay and neuter laws, Journalist John Matthews on Heartbleed, The King of TV on Mad Men, Film Critic Michael Snyder and Will Ryan & The Cactus County Cowboys.

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When Prostitution Was Legal


For 20 years prostitution was legal in New Orleans. Cari Lynn is is the author of Madam which tells that story. Plus David Kukoff talks about his new book Children of the Canyon. Along with Laura House and Steve Skrovan.

Madam tells the story of when vice had a legal home and jazz was being born—the captivating story of an infamous true-life madam

New Orleans, 1900. Mary Deubler makes a meager living as an “alley whore.” That all changes when bible-thumping Alderman Sidney Story forces the creation of a red-light district that’s mockingly dubbed “Storyville.” Mary believes there’s no place for a lowly girl like her in the high-class bordellos of Storyville’s Basin Street, where Champagne flows and beautiful girls turn tricks in luxurious bedrooms. But with gumption, twists of fate, even a touch of Voodoo, Mary rises above her hopeless lot to become the notorious Madame Josie Arlington.

Filled with fascinating historical details and cameos by Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and E. J. Bellocq, Madam is a fantastic romp through The Big Easy and the irresistible story of a woman who rose to power long before the era of equal rights.

Children of the Canyon tells the story of David, a boy growing up in LA’s fabled Laurel Canyon neighborhood as the 1960s counterculture is coming to an end. David’s record producer father works with the reclusive former leader of a surf music band on an album that promises to elevate the legacies of both men to immortal status. His distant, peripatetic mother rides the waves of activism and feminism in and out of David’s life. The elusive Topanga, named for the city’s last remaining Eden, whom David meets on the beach the night of his parents’ separation continues to elude his futile attempts to reconnect with her throughout the decade. Through David’s eyes, we bear witness to the fallout from the California Dream’s malfunction: the ruined families, failed revolutionaries, curdled musical idealism, and, ultimately, the rise of the conservatism that put the country on its present path.

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Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism

jody armour

The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America with Law Professor Jody David Armour who is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. He has been a member of the faculty since 1995. Professor Armour’s expertise ranges from personal injury claims to claims about the relationship between racial justice, criminal justice, and the rule of law.  Professor Armour studies the intersection of race and legal decision making as well as torts and tort reform movements.

A widely published scholar and popular lecturer, Professor Armour is a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities and Culture. He has published articles in Stanford Law Review, California Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Southern California Review of Law and Women’s Studies, University of Colorado Law Review and University of Pittsburgh Law Review.  His book Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America, (New York University Press, 1997), received the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award. He has just completed a book on the relationship between law, language, morality, politics and the performing arts titled Hearts and Minds in Blame and Punishment.  Professor Armour is a regular legal analyst on KABC, KNBC and KCBS News and a sought-after legal expert on a variety of criminal law and social justice issues in a wide range of other media outlets. At the request of the US Department of State and European Embassies, Professor Armour has toured major universities in Europe to speak about social justice as well as Hip Hop culture and the law.  His work on the performing arts and law recently culminated in a unique interdisciplinary and multimedia analysis of social justice and linguistics, titled Race, Rap and Redemption, produced by USC alumna J.M. Morris, and featuring performance by Ice Cube, Mayda del Valle, Saul Williams, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Macy Gray Music Academy Orchestra, and Mailon Rivera.

Prof. Armour earned his A.B. degree in Sociology and Philosophy at Harvard University and his J.D. degree with honors from Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining University of Southern California, he was an associate at Morrison & Foerster, Kirkpatrick and Lockhart and taught at Boalt Hall, Indiana University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Professor Armour currently teaches students a diverse array of subjects, including Criminal Law, Torts, and Stereotypes and Prejudice: The Role of the Cognitive Unconscious in the Rule of Law.


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Nader Says Raising Minimum Wage Is Good For Business

Ralph Nader has been lobbying Walmart for years to voluntarily raise their minimum wage, reminding the corporation that it’s in their best financial interests.

This week we’re seeing that the retail sector is slowly waking up to the sobering reality that when Americans don’t earn enough money they can’t shop. Walmart, America’s largest private sector employer, finally seems to get it. The retail behemoth announced last week it might support President Obama’s efforts to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

Meanwhile The Gap says it is voluntarily raising their minimum wage to $10 an hour. 

Ralph Nader has shaped public policy for nearly five decades and has been the single greatest force in progressive politics since Teddy Roosevelt. His new book is Told You So. We talked about why raising the minimum wage is actually good for business:

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David: What role does a higher minimum wage play in higher prices? If Walmart, for example, paid a livable wage to its workers, how much more expensive would all those shoddy items we never needed in the first place actually be?

Ralph: Well, here’s one study that will startle you. And that is, if Walmart took all its workers up to $12 or more an hour, and there’s a million Walmart workers making less than 1968 Walmart workers made adjusted for inflation, it would increase the average Walmart visit by a consumer and what the consumer buys by $0.43, that’s all. These are highly automated companies and that’s assuming Walmart wants to transfer it all to the consumer, not take it out of Mike Duke’s salary and others. Mike Duke, the CEO, makes $11,000 an hour plus benefits, not take it out of other things in the company, other than the workers’ hides. Even if they transfer everything to the consumer, it’s $0.43 a visit. Of course it’s a great stimulus plan too because tens of billions of dollars are rising out of restoration of the minimum wage to 1968 inflation adjusted levels would produce a lot of purchases and that creates jobs.

The CEO of Walmart, Mike Duke, earns $11,000 an hour plus benefits according to Ralph Nader.

The CEO of Walmart, Mike Duke, earns $11,000 an hour plus benefits according to Ralph Nader.

David: According to Goldman Sachs, the quintessential champion of the working man, they issued a new report saying American workers’ wages are growing at two percent per year, as you said, the slowest rate since 1965. Is this a new phenomenon where even people like Goldman Sachs are finally acknowledging income disparity? It seems to me as recently as three years ago people on the right, at least, were not admitting to a chasm between the very wealthy and the very poor. We’re now seeing that both sides are acknowledging it.

Ralph: That’s right, that’s the recent effort. We’ve been at this really vigorously now for five years, so we know the pulse as it grows. We’re trying to push the sluggish AFL-CIO, AFL-CIO has helped with getting demonstrators in front of McDonald’s and others, but it’s been really a slow push until about nine months ago when you see a quickening.

And one of the reasons is that the plutocrats are getting worried about reduced consumer expenditures, they’re saying, “Hey, if we don’t raise these minimum wage salaries, we’re not going to get the sales.” Even Walmart is starting to worry about that. And I think, and we’ve met with Walmart reps about two years ago, and I think that they’re about to come out with a support of the minimum wage. Maybe not as high as $10.90, but maybe they’ll support the $10.10 over three years that’s backed by George Miller and Nancy Pelosi, the leading Democrats that happen come from the one city, San Francisco, that has the highest minimum wage in the country which is, I think, about $10.50 per hour.

Ralph Nader has shaped public policy for nearly five decades and has been the single greatest force in progressive politics since Teddy Roosevelt. His new book is Told You So.

Listen to original broadcast

What do you think about raising the minimum wage? I’d like to know. Please join the conversation below.


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