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Better Left Podcast

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Better Left is a podcast about progressive people, with some politics sprinkled in. As a group, we live our progressive principles every day, but we know we can do better. Both as hosts of a podcast, but also as part of a greater movement that at its heart promises to bring prosperity and opportunity to everyone in the US. As a nation, we're coming to terms with what the word progressive even means. As a group of millions loosely assembled around a set of universal principles, the progressive left sure can get it wrong. Real wrong.
That's why we are talking. The Better Left hosts are working-class stiffs, labor union lovers, candidates for public office, hip-hop artists, Presidential campaign staff, campaign managers, attorneys, political strategists, teachers, philosophy nerds, video game professionals, passionate political activists, and really close friends. Sarah and Jay Smith, Troy Hewitt, Cassidy 'Corn' Butler, Atom Even Engel, and Ash León.
Wanna talk about it on the podcast? Maybe you want us to consider a different kind of guest, or to explore an idea from an entirely different point of view? Whatever you need, I'm sure we got it. Just send your thoughts to, where your concerns and complaints are welcome, just leave our moms out of it.
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39 Episodes
Content Warning: This episode covers topics including bullying, sexual assault and doxing. In this week's episode, Corn and Jay discuss a follow-up to our last episode where we discussed the Joshua Collins doxxing scandal where Joshua Collins, a candidate for Washington's 10th Congressional District, got wrapped up in drama where a voter in his district was wrongfully accused of sexually aggressing a staff member of Joshua's campaign by Joshua. Corn and Jay talk about follow-ups that came out of an investigation that Jay did including Joshua's "apology" for doxxing. If you have seen or experienced doxing, bullying or other harmful behavior from candidates or others that are part of the movement, please share those experiences with us at To learn more about the Collins campaign check out his twitter @ or visit their campaign page at Or check out one of Joshua's debates with well-known Political Twitch streamers Destiny, Pxie, and others @ For a copy of the complaint click here: For information concerning Jason Call's history of internal party harassment, check here: Intro Artist: Ash Leon Title: Big Dipper Style License: With permission from the artist Adaptation: adjusted audio levels, cut to fit Outro Artist: Ash Leon Title: Sympathy for the Devil License: With permission from the artist Adaptation: adjusted audio levels
Content Warning: This episode covers topics including bullying, sexual assault and doxing. In this week's episode, Corn and Jay discuss bullying and the misuse of positions of power from those on the left. Join us as we examine a complaint filed with the Thurston County Democrats regarding Washington's 10th Congressional Candidate Joshua Collins who is alleged to have doxed a progressive voter in his own district. We also discuss other problematic actions from the Collins campaign including the Rent Strike Petition, concerns from tenant organizers in New York and the response from the campaign to them. Corn talks about why it is critical for us as leftists to hold candidates accountable, and how the actions of Collins and his campaign hurt electoral leftist politics for years to come. If you have seen or experienced doxing, bullying or other harmful behavior from candidates or others that are part of the movement, please share those experiences with us at To learn more about the Collins campaign check out his twitter @ or visit their campaign page at Or check out one of Joshua's debates with well-known Political Twitch streamers Destiny, Pxie, and others @ For a copy of the complaint click: Intro Artist: Ash Leon Title: Sympathy for the Devil License: With permission from the artist Adaptation: adjusted audio levels Outro Artist: Ash Leon Title: Big Dipper Style License: With permission from the artist Adaptation: adjusted audio levels
We apologize for the quality of our audio. We're getting settled with our respective home studios during quarantine, and we are eternally thankful to Jay for his superlative editing skills and patience. We'll get better! Don't forget to give us some stars and subscribe! We hope you are all staying safe, sane, and healthy. Want to talk about it? Send a note to! Follow The Better Left Cast on Twitter Follow the Better Left Cast on Facebook Follow the Better Left Cast on Instagram “We are aware that there are some inherent dangers in our work, but none of us signed up for a suicide mission,” said Yestramski. -Mike Yestramski Jr, RollCall.Com Mike is a psychiatric social worker at Western State Hospital, and President of AFSCME 28/WFSIE, the union representing approximately 45,000 state employees and public service workers across the state of Washington. That includes employees of state agencies, state colleges and universities, social services providers, state park employees, and correction officers, to name a few. While all of these public service jobs have been impacted by the unprecedented impact of this global pandemic, COVID-19 has created an untenable pressure on the frontline healthcare workers at facilities like Eastern and Western State hospitals, Harborview Medical Center, and the University of Washington Medical Center. In this episode, we check in with our friend Mike and unpack the reports we've heard from the frontline workers, the ever-present struggle with hospital administration to get the necessary PPE -protective gear used by hospital staff to reduce exposure and risk of infection for both patient and the people providing vital healthcare services. In the midst of this crisis, at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak and in the United States, Mike speaks to what's going on and what the team at Washington State Federation of State Employees is doing to advocate on behalf of the incredible work on the frontlines, like #Courageous Duty Pay for front-line workers (SIGN THE PETITION!), and advocating for better screening and prioritized COVID-19 testing for front line staff. Mike at KUOW.ORG Mike at PublicNewsService.Org Michael Ferguson We also speak with our dear friend Michael Ferguson, an account manager for a company that provides lighting and technical services for large-venue public events. 200 employees were laid off as a result of the impact of COVID-19, and he speaks to the difficulty of the situation, and what he and other leaders from his field are doing to help- like raising $70,000 in support of Washington State Stage and Tech workers in an emergency fund. This Episode: Follow The Better Left Cast on Twitter Follow the Better Left Cast on Facebook Follow the Better Left Cast on Instagram Guests: Mike Yestramski Jr and Michael Ferguson Hosts: Troy Hewitt, Cassidy 'Corn' Butler Editing: Jay Smith Show Notes: Troy Hewitt Intro Artist: Hemijinks Title: Nice Ray License: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Promoted by: Outro Artist: Ed Navarro Dee Title: Atacama License: Adaptation: adjusted audio levels Promoted by:
Right now Team Better Left are sequestered in our respective homes and preparing to coordinate our all-remote call-in podcast, the first time we've done that, so it should be both technically challenging and entirely frustrating- for everyone! We'll keep you posted! In the meantime, here's the latest episode: The Next Episode! We sit down with King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove and talk about the recent firing of two teachers because they were marrying same-sex partners and his public advocacy on their behalf, among a host of other topics. "This is a reminder of the blatant discrimination that continues to exist in our community against members of the LGBT community," Upthegrove said. King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove to NBC News We also finally learn what the King County Council does, talk about Dave's history in politics, and just generally have a great time. Dave was a delight to talk to and we are looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Check out the background for the episode at the links below: Dave Upthegrove from his King County Council page. A day in the life of Dave Upthegrove Wanna Have a Digital Hangout? We hope you are staying safe! How are you faring? Want to talk about it? How about a digital hangout? Let us know if you are interested in joining us for a digital hangout, who knows, maybe we'll turn it into a podcast. Let us know by sending an email to! Episode Credits: Guest: David Upthegrove Editing: Jay Smith Episode Lead: Troy Hewitt Show Notes: Troy Hewitt Hosts: Cassidy Butler, Troy Hewitt, Jay Smith The Artists Behind our Tracks Intro Artist: Backyard Dreaming Title: Emotional Connection License: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Promoted by: Outtro Artist: Lvin Red Title: On Top of the World (Feat. Quayba) License: Adaptation: adjusted audio levels Promoted by:
Ash sits down with local community activists/poets; Kamali, Maven and Seneca “Rosie Rocket” Rose to celebrate Black History Month and discuss a wide range of related topics spanning from Racial and Gender Identity to Youth Culture and Voting. They do it all through the sociopolitical lens they colloquially refer to as “Blackness”. Join us for this spiritual and often unconventional ride that we hope will inspire more questions and better solutions! References From The Show: S.A.F.E. (Seattle Against Foreclosure & Eviction) is a collective group made up of local disabled, queer, cash-poor, community organizers that have come together in an effort to help strengthen the fight against issues of displacement via gentrification through Community, Economic, Enivornmental and Social Justice. Attributions: Intro song: “Big Dipper Style” - Ash León Outro Song: “No Sympathy For The Devil” - Ash León Contact: Your Host: Ash León Editing: Jay Smith Show Notes: Ash León Guests: Kamali Derek Senior, Maven, Seneca “Rosie Rocket”
Jay and Troy talk with Cassidy "Corn" Butler and Mark "Krouton" Routon, who were in Iowa working the caucus, Corn was there as Field Director, and Krouton as a volunteer in the field, both called to Iowa by their commitment to a Bernie Sander's Presidency, they're back to tell their stories from the field! Run-ins with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michael Moore, trapping national press in an elevator, and more importantly, stories from the people of Iowa. It's a real adventure and you'll want to listen to every minute of it. References from the Show: Journey to Bernie organized by Carolyn Brotherton Support our friends who are out supporting Bernie! If you can't go yourself, support the people who are! Friends and fellow organizers, We are in a critical moment in this country and we have a real sho… Carolyn Brotherton needs your support for Journey to Bernie. Knock Doors for Bernie Want to knock doors for Bernie in your neighborhood? Take our training to get a list of doors to knock near you! Travel to an Early State for Bernie Take your own Bernie Journey! Attributions: Contact: Your Hosts: Troy Hewitt, Jay Smith Editing: Jay Smith Show Notes: Troy Hewit Guests: Cassidy Butler, Mark Routon Intro song: Bern Necessities Outro Song: Bernie Can both parodies and written by Eli Alpern and performed by The Bernettes!!!!!
Discussed in this show: Greetings friends. We had some concerns about this week's show. The topics of race, gender, violence against marginalized communities, pervasive, systemic racism with tendrils so deep into the foundation of the systems we've built that places ostensibly created to mete out justice with impartiality have instead reinforced inequity and inequality, institutionalizing bias against race, gender, and class, that we end up codifying exclusion to the point of excess. How in the world could we be equipped to discuss these things? What makes us think we have the expertise? How is it that we would purport to know anything, or to preach to others about how it should be done? Well, in truth, we aren't equipped. We openly admit that we are not experts. We do not have the answers to problems so complex as this. So while we do not commit to knowing or having the answers, we can commit to this: We do this podcast because we want to know. We want to challenge each other to see the world through eyes as clear as possible. That means interrogating our ideas and understanding our personal biases and how they inform our world view. It means listening. It means asking questions. It means taking risks and asking hard questions, and it means being prepared for what the answer really is. So, please enjoy the show with the caveat that we know there are voices that can and should be represented in this conversation. We're working to make that happen. Is your voice missing? Reach out: Your opinion is important and vital, both to us and to the world at large. Thanks for listening. Here are the rest of the show notes: Star Wars: Nerds Gonna Nerd The Star Wars Always, the Topher Grace supercut Trailer: About Star Wars Always: "Back in 2014, Topher Grace cut all three prequels into one film, but due to copyright issues, he was unable to screen it to more than just his inner circle. And now, he and his editor mate Jeff Yorkes, have cut all of the Star Wars live-action films into one 5-minute clip, titled Star Wars: Always.'10 movies. 2 nerds. 1 weekend (when our wives were out of town). Enjoy,' he tweeted." The Trevarrow Script Leak: Kobe Bryant Discussion: Justice for victims, Restorative justice, Cancel culture, Systemic racism. You know, the easy stuff. Source Materials: The SEIU Action Against Swedish Rest in Peace, David Bacca. 1979 - 2020 You are sorely missed. Intro Artist: Brian Jarvis Band Title: The World's On Fire License: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Promoted by:
Brothers Michael and Brian and special contributors to the Better Left Network, sit down for an in-depth conversation with Shannon and Jazz from the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club. John What is The Three Percenter Militia? The four discuss The Three Percenters (also styled 3 Percenters, 3%ers and III%ers[1]) are an American far-right militia movement[2] and paramilitary group.[3] The group advocates gun ownership rights and resistance to the U.S. federal government's involvement in local affairs. Find more from Wikipedia: The group's name derives from the disputed claim that only three percent of American colonists took up arms against the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolution.[4][5] The Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes the 3Percenters as an "anti-government" group.[6] Some Canadian experts consider the group the "most dangerous extremist group" in Canada.[4RThe koalistion Facebook page, follow them on twitter at: @PugetSoundJBGC . s an American abolitionist. Brown advocated the use of armed insurrection to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. He first gained national attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis of 1856. He was dissatisfied with the pacifism of the organized abolitionist movement: "These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!" In May 1856, Brown and his supporters killed five supporters of slavery in the Pottawatomie massacre, which responded to the sacking of Lawrence by pro-slavery forces. Brown then commanded anti-slavery forces at the Battle of Black Jack (June 2) and the Battle of Osawatomie (August 30, 1856). Now all about you pulling one of the most unique gun clubs in the pacific northwest, in that it is an inclusive organization of hobbyist shooters and these guys! Here's what Because she shouldn't wait for it standing different We believe in active resistance to the corrosive and destructive social effects of white supremacy, sexism, bigotry, and economic exploitation just future: loooj AWESOME episode of behind the bastards look into John Brownn, grabbing a bubgg Did you enjoy this episode? Let us know what you thought by sending us an email to with any questions, comments, insights or concerns. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter, just search for @Bettereftcast! You can find our website at BetterLeft.Net and you'll find this podcast on new cities every week. Once again, when you find us, give us all your stars, like it, subscribe, comment, and enjoy!
Warning: This episode contains vivid descriptions of a brutal knife attack from the perspective of a survivor. It's powerful, it's heartwrenching, and we were honored that our guest chose to share her story with us. You may want to skip this episode, or at least jump over the 1:22:00 through 1:30:00 to the end. Welcome to the Better Left Podcast! We picked the best guest to join us after our brief hiatus. Queen of the Dirty South? Leader of the Rebel Alliance? Trouble if you make it? Maybe even if you don't? She's so good, we very nearly didn't have enough title to tout Taylor's talents, but ta-da! Allison M F Taylor has been fighting the good fight across the Puget Sound in the areas of labor leadership, as the Chair of the 30th Legislative District, as a life-long social activist, as a champion for the LGBTQ community, she's building a coalition of people working to host the very first pride parade in Federal Way, WA. She's an accomplished bridge-builder, but she's not afraid to shake the foundations in the pursuit of social justice. She's honest, she's smart, and she's not backing down until you work it out - and if it isn't today, don't worry. If you are as serious about making a positive impact as she is, you'll get plenty of opportunities to make it right. We discuss her history of service, the struggle within and without the party, the fight for equity, racial and social justice, the challenge of being a political leader in the Washington State Democratic Party while also maintaining a vocal point of view. Allison also shares her journey after surviving the brutal October 2018 stabbing at the hands of her husband. A man in the throes of a mental health crisis exacerbated by a methamphetamine binge attacked Allison, stabbing her 9 times and injuring her so severely that she spent 35 days recovering in the hospital. We're proud of this episode, and we're proud of Allison. We hope you enjoy, too. Intro Artist: Delac Title: Icarus License: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Promoted by: Outro Artist: Jon Worthy Title: Song YW License: Adaptation: Adjusted audio levels Promoted by:
Wow. You are going to love this. Jay and Sarah bring on a very special guest, and we talk about losing your religion, having a best selling book turned into a hit Hollywood movie, unwittingly picking a fight with The Internet, moving to a remote island cabin in the woods in order to turn off distraction and focus on his work and the fans of it. Seattle-based author Isaac Marion is an extremely interesting guy. Do you remember the hit movie Warm Bodies? In this episode, we continue our exploration of religion and spirituality with a very special guest, Seattle author, musician, and acquaintance of (the)John Malkovitch, after he was cast to play a pivotal character in a Hollywood movie based on the author's Warm Bodies Series. From the beginning, Isaac Marion came from a deeply religious upbringing - his father a Christian pastor, Isaac speaks frankly and openly about how he came to question his fundamentalist Christian upbringing. Isaac generously gives listeners an unvarnished view into his experience, right up to and beyond the pivotal moment in his adult life that saw him step away from his faith entirely. We also discuss Isaac's run-in (or better, head-on collision) with cancel culture, when a somewhat jokey, extremely creative writing endeavor involving a fictional conversation with President Trump catches the attention of the blindly-screaming, rage-eating, shambling denizens of angriest places on the Internet, unifying them with an urgent, ugly, singular purpose: Cancel. Issac. Marion. As it turns out, living a life of charming authenticity is honestly just the way Isaac chooses to live. From his Patreon to his YouTube, his social media presence to his newsletters, and back to his Patreon and Discord server, (we gladly became a supporter at Isaac Marion's Patreon -- we can confirm, it's worth every penny of the five dollars a month we're pitching in to support an artist practicing his craft.) Isaac's is really just that guy. Here's Isaac on the Web: Isaac Marion Community Links: His blog: His Patreon Community: About Isaac Marion: Isaac Marion is an American writer. He is best known as the best-selling author of the "zombie romance" novel Warm Bodies and its series. Isaac Marion Official site for Isaac Marion, author of the Warm Bodies series—now concluded with THE LIVING. Isaac Marion on Social Media: On YouTube: On Facebook: On Twitter: On Instagram: Warm Bodies Community Links: The Warm Bodies Fan Wiki: Warm Bodies Twitter: His work was also published alongside other essays in the anthology "Empty the Pews" where authors Chrissy Stroop and Lauren O'Neal gathered 21 pieces from people once deeply engaged with religion, now recounting their individual experience leaving Christianity altogether: Of Note: David Bazan of Pedro the Lion fame, released a solo album in 2009 called Curse Your Branches that spoke deeply to Isaac and the place he was within his own faith: There are various takes on his books, including seeing aspects of religious fundamentalism where none was meant. Bonus Content: What is R's real name? While Jay and Sarah tried to crack the code on R's real name, Isaac didn't budge. Outside of ensuring listeners that it wasn't Romeo. Word is, that in a private Patreon chat his fans claim to know R's name, but he insists he won't confirm it even if they are right -- no matter how easy it should be to piece it all together. Hrmm... There was SO much going on this episode that we're deciding to do the unprecedented! We're giving you a sampling of the questions we put together in prep for the podcast. Some of them made it, some of them changed a little, and some of them didn't. That's showbiz, friends! SUPER BONUS MATERIAL! Hosts: Sarah, Jay Guest: Isaac Topic: Cancel culture, Fundamentalism, and Meaning. Background Story: Isaac is an author who has notably written the Warm Bodies series which is best known as full-length movie that came out in 2013. Recently, Isaac has self-published the fourth entry into the Warm Bodies series and co-wrote a piece for the book “Empty the Pews” titled “A better Dream”. In 2017, Isaac found himself under fire for a series of tweets made where he created a fictional dialogue where Trump chastised Isaac for being an author. Background Highlights: Author Warm Bodies is cast as a re-telling of Romeo & Juliet, if Romeo was a zombie named R. It's important to note the details here surrounding Romeo being undead and Juliet being living. There's a cool juxtaposition here of Romeo, a formerly emotionless dead being, and General Grigio, a living being who experiences emotions but is unable to communicate them. “A better Dream” regards the Christian eschatological framework and the nihilistic “dream” that Christians have of the world ending and a new, better, world beginning. It's important to explore the link between Warm Bodies & A Better Dream here. Themes to Highlight: Christian fundamentalism v. Progressive fundamentalism Cancel Culture The impact of dogmatism on groups Dogmatism theme in Warm Bodies Dogmatism in communities Background Questions: What was your life like growing up? Christianity was a large part of your life, you mentioned Dave Bazan as part of the group (whom I-- Jay-- saw in concert just recently). If you could give a brief synopsis, how did that frame your worldview and life? What was the culture shock like moving to Seattle and “making the world your home” like you mention in your Empty the Pews book? Focus Questions What led to the story of Warm Bodies? What gave you the idea of juxtaposing the newly-feeling dead and the emotionless existence of the living? General Grigio doesn't drink, is that a reference to fundamentalist culture? Were you thinking of Fundamentalist nonexpressivism when you crafted that character? There are many in the Christian tradition who think that Warm Bodies is actually encouraging people to turn to Christianity… what would you say to that? E.g., R and Julie falling into a pool of water is a “baptism”. The turning from the dead to the living because of “love”, etc. Do you feel like this idea of ‘nonexpressivism' is something that we see in our everyday lives? Talk to us a little bit about the “Great Cancelling” of 2017 as we call it where you created a fake dialog between you and Trump, and your tweets ended up going viral as a result. What was it like being on the side of that? Why do you think you got such backlash? What led to you making the fake tweets? What did you learn through the process? When you think about the type of pushback that you got from the progressive community and you think about the type of experiences that you got from your religious upbringing, are there similarities? Progressive exclusion culture for not meeting the “rules” of the community, etc. How's this shaped your worldview overall? Where are you finding meaning in the world now? Tweets: Subscribe! Give us your stars! Review us kindly! We love you. Intro: Artist: GoMordecai Title: All We Got License: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Promoted by: Outro Artist: Omonoko Title: Empty Streets License: Adaptation: Adjusted audio levels Promoted by:
In this episode, Ash leone is back in the studio for the prequel to our conversations from episode #26, with your hosts Sarah and Troy, and Producer Jay at the helm. This episode we talk about: Gender identity and its impacts on the creation of music, and how it influences the creative process. We talk about what it means to not fit into the gender binary, and how black, non-binary people are processing what it means to be young, black, and queer in America. Non-binary Perspectives: We talk about gender and pop-culture icons that inspired an interrogation of the concept of gender as a societal construct. larger than life personalities like Grace Jones and of course Prince, but also how bands like Queens of the Stone Age serve as inspiration beyond the gender construct, settling more into the idea that arriving at comfort just being who you are, and in that comfort, drawing on the environment around you to become something different, but better, what it can mean to create from that space. Reference: Colorism Discrimination based on skin color, also known as colorism or shadeism, is a form of prejudice or discrimination usually from members of the same race in which people are treated differently based on the social implications from cultural meanings attached to skin color. Wikipedia Reference: Rockumentary Sonic Highways Episode 5: "Los Angeles" October 5, 2019 Los Angeles' highly influential position in rock history is examined. Pat Smear remembers the days of Germs, and visits legendary KROQ disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer, owner of a 1970s Sunset Strip club that became the hub for the Los Angeles glam rock scene. Foo Fighters head to the desert to record their new song "Outside", which features a solo from Eagles' guitarist Joe Walsh, at Rancho De La Luna, and in turn, Kyuss and the 1990s Palm Desert Scene is explored. Reference: The Desert Sessions We also talk about how tom girls can be fun and plucky, but the inverse of tomgirl, an effeminate male, is a much more pejorative experience. We talk about toxic masculinity, and what pushes a person to embrace the toxic, hyper-masculine mindset and how that impacts the world around them. Reference: Androcentrism The practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing a masculine point of view at the center of one's world view, culture, and history, thereby culturally marginalizing femininity. The related adjective is androcentric, while the practice of placing the feminine point of view at the center is gynocentric. Ash shares what it means to be a creator, a hip-hop artist, and how society, hip-hop, rap, and nerd culture drives his creative process. Reference: Ash Leon's Sound Cloud Reference: No Sympathy for the Devil No Sympathy for the Devil is Ash's emotionally charged anti-white supremacy track that came out of an experience in Harlem tied to the gentrification of NYC. Reference: Tangerine Dream feat. fauxtographs "Many of us are tired and burnt out from the constant battle against the system of oppression that targets minorities. I think it's important that we remember the love ourselves and each other throughout these trials. Practice Self-Care." Reference: DaveB Reference: S.A.F.E. in Seattle SEATTLE AGAINST FORECLOSURE AND EVICTION ATTRIBUTIONS: Intro Artist: Ash Leon Title: Lil Hoe Mix 1 License: Provided by artist Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Outro Artist: Ash Leon Title: I hate it (mix reprise 2 no guitar) License: Provided by artist Adaptation: Adjusted audio levels
Wow! A man named Bernard came and stole our Corn and took her all the way to Iowa! Oh whyyyowa!? Because she's a badass political organizer and Bernie knows what's up. So this episode we send Corn away with some: What the shit?! We talk about the human-shaped garbage pile responsible for the murder of Treyvon Martin. Trayvon's attacker has taken an indignant, loud, put-upon stance as he theatrically crisscrossed his way through the sewage spillway that is the FOX (and really all our modern media, right?) talking points, and their equally odious talking heads. Then things take a turn! A really good one! Treyvon Martin's mother is Sybrina Fulton, and she is running for Miami-Dade County Commission! She has persevered through unthinkable tragedy, to rise up as a leader for a community in crisis. Whether it is her work bringing the nascent Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront of our American consciousness, or the work she does within her own community, she's been the beating heart of a community movement. Well, now she's running for public office and we are all in! We want to raise $100,000 for Sybrina's campaign, and you can help! 1. First, sign up as a volunteer here: 2. Then, Donate $20.20 to her campaign at the same link! 3. Then, Watch, Like, and Subscribe to her youtube channel: 4. Then, Look for Troy's comment at the link above, show your support! 5. Then, Follow Sybrina on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for real-time updates from the campaign. #TrayvonMartin #RestInPower #ImWithSybrina And so, so, so much more. It's a really podcasty podcast, so get it while it's hot. Intro Artist: Odoghan Title: Not Perfect License: Promoted by: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Outro Artist: Liquid Title: Perfect Bastard License: Promoted by: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Break Music Artist: JulesCanvas Title: Flashing Chicks & Neon Kicks License: Promoted by: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit, adjusted audio levels Jingle Bells Sound Effects Artist: Razor5 Title: Jingle Bells Piano License: Promoted by: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels
Our guests on this episode: Kamali Senior, Writer, community activist, and organizing director for Seattle Against Foreclosure and Eviction (S.A.F.E.), and Ash León, activist for S.A.F.E., hip hop artist, and public speaker on the intersectionality of queer black culture and hip hop. We explore the issue of housing insecurity and affordability in Seattle, as Jay and Atom interview Kamali and Ash of S.A.F.E on the topics of redlining, Seattle's racist past and present, and what is and is not working as Seattle creates programs to address it. Discussed on this Episode: Author Kamali Senior: Donald Trump Was Already My President Ash Leon on Soundcloud: Seattle Against Foreclosure and Eviction: S.A.F.E. on Facebook: Housing Affordability and Livability Act Angelo Herndon: Intro Artist: Ash Leon Title: Big Dipper Style License: Permission from Artist Promoted by: N/A Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Outro: Artist: Ash Leon Title: No Sympathy For the Devil License: Permission from Artist Promoted by: N/A Adaptations: Adjusted audio levels
You've worked hard, now play hard! Listen to the show and let us know what you think about it. Like us! Subscribe to us! Share a thought with us! Have a topic idea? Want to be a guest? Know a great guest? Want to come hang out when we record? You can! Just reach out to us after listening to the show and let us know what's on your mind. What the Shit? Eric Swalwell rage farted at Chris Mathews on MSNBC during a Trump rant or something. Or was he framed? Who knows for sure - all we know is that farts are still funny and we are grown-ass adults. We dissect celebrity donations to the Presidential campaigns, and it is both incredibly upsetting and super cliche. C'mon Tom Hanks! Raven Simone! We don't care what you do, anyone listed under Trump, because we don't know who you are and we'd like to keep it that way. Stay sub-par! ScarJo gets a special mention because really, what the shit? Do we forgive her? Does she remain awful? When is she off restriction, anyway? Are You Ok, Boomer? We all share some thoughts on whether you actually are, but don't be mad! We originally did it behind your back like a normal flock of Seattlites. We just forgot we were recording a podcast, like a normal flock of Seattleites. So listen to the whole thing, or you won't know why you should be offended. Big News Breakdown! The OG Four are in the house for the Big News Breakdown! Congrats, Jesus! Our friend Jamil Suleman, whom you may know as Seattle Jesus, won a big opportunity at the Seattle Film Summit for his work! We Do Too Have Friends We co-hosted a rally called Block Amazon's Bid on Biden: Abolish ICE, Save the Planet! With some of our MOST favorite community leaders, like Seattle DSA, Kshama Sawant, the Shaun Scott campaign, Transit Riders Union, La Resistencia, and Maru Mora, Extinction Rebellion, Mazaska Talks, Natives for Bernie Sanders, and us, the Better Left Network! We united in solidarity protest Joe Biden coming to Seattle for a private fundraiser hosted by Amazon's General Counsel and Vice President. Troy Helped at Congress Camp! As a volunteer for Brand New Congress, I got to help with this year's Summit planning! The Brand New Congress Summit hosted nearly 80 people made up of Congressional campaign teams, candidates, and Brand New Congress volunteers over the course of two days - we call it Congress Camp, and it is incredible! Learn more about the BNC here: Follow them on Facebook here: And their twitter here: The Palette Cleanser! What Harry Potter house are you? Let's get this sorted. Join Corn, Troy, Nicollete, and Washington State Congressional candidate Peter Khalil! Join the BLN team! We like cool people and having fun, long walks on the beach and making fun of Egan Orion. Do you? Because he's big mad. Send a note to Hello@BetterLeft.Net and let us know what you think. Intro Artist: Garmische Title: They Seem to Be Intelligent License: Promoted by: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Outro: Artist: Bruckenbauer Song: Who's Been Telling License: Promoted by: Adaptations: Adjusted audio levels Palate Cleanser Segue Artist: Jon Kennedy Song: Air Force One License: Promoted by: Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Big News Breakdown Sound Artist: Mansardian Title: News End Signature.Wave License: Promoted by:
Shout-out to Abraham! It's Jesus, and he's in Seattle - he's leading the Pride parade, he's marching in the Women's March, he's testifying in front of Seattle City Council, and he is hanging out with the Better Left crew as our special guest this episode. Why is this Muslim man dressed as Jesus leading Pride Parades and engaging directly with the braying hate-donkeys haunting the public events of Hellward bound heathens? Did it get dangerous? Was it remarkable? A.. miracle? Well, we find out, and you can too! Give the show a listen, then be sure to take your own pilgrimage to Jamil Suleman's Facebook page and follow him on Twitter- you'll thank yourself, and Jesus, later. Intro & Outro Artist: Jamil Suleman & Spekulation Title: Curry N' A Hurry License: With permission from artists Promoted by: Discussion Segue: Artist: Don Jaymor Song: Streetlyfe License: Promoted by:
Our guest is a Congressional candidate Peter Khalil and his campaign manager Nicolette Horaites joins Sarah and Jay Smith to talk about why he is running for office in Washington State's 3rd Congressional District. This from the Khalil for Congress campaign Facebook Page: "My name is Peter Khalil. I am the child of immigrants. My father grew up a Coptic Christian in Egypt. Faced with discrimination at home, he came to America with $200 and the hope that he could make a better life for himself. It was here that he met a fellow Egyptian immigrant, my mother. They borrowed against their house to send me to the best schools. But the unspeakable weight of their experience with tyranny pressed down on every moment of my childhood. My parents taught me that freedom is most at risk when the tide of fear is highest. They also taught me we are so much more than victims of our circumstances." Peter Khalil is a part of the Brand New Congress 2020 slate of candidates, and you can learn more about his campaign at their official website:
In this episode, we talk with Shaun Scott! Shaun Scott is a candidate for Seattle City Council District 4, the area comprising the U-District, Wallingford, Eastlake, Roosevelt, and NE Seattle, and we like him! It's a great conversation - listen to learn more about Shaun Scott's race for Seattle City Council, his vision for Seattle, and the quality of his character. Sarah Smith, Jay, Atom, Troy, and Corn are your hosts. These are their stories: Shout out to Kelly Bachman, the comedian that stood up to Harvey Weinstein as he slithered into a comedy club like he would be welcome. Well, he was welcomed by some. What the &@%#? KUBE 93.3, Seattle's #1 Hip Hop Station, decided to join the homeless debate by warning against the plague that the homeless bring because of heroin. It doesn't make sense, but then we are just podcast hosts, not big market radio DJs that are licensed to practice medicine and astute social commentary lacking any basis in fact or reality. Zuckerberg, of the Facebook Zuckerberg's, had a big week. He started by reinventing the Facebook origin story, got a fine haircut for his robot body, and appeared before Congress to get a real ol' timey public slapdown. Teachers are on strike! The Chicago Teachers Union is on strike failing to reach a deal with Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot. IN our region, Sumner Paraeducators are on strike as well - wear red for ed! Support our educators, support fair pay for work, support unions! Big News Breakdown Egan Orion is our big news breakdown. We think he's awful, here are our reasons: Doesn't get why his Facebook post designer baby request was offensive. He serves as a puppet for the right-wing, taking MAX donations from people that want to strip rights from the LGBTQ members of our region. He is proud of the dark money support he gets from corporations that are overtly seeking to write the laws that govern them. He's publicly misrepresented where his campaign donations came from, publicly and maliciously misrepresented his opponent. And SO MUCH MORE! Take a listen. Our Guest Shaun Scott Shaun Scott is a candidate for Seattle City Council District 4, the area comprising the U-District, Wallingford, Eastlake, Roosevelt, and NE Seattle, and we like him! It's a great conversation - listen to learn more about Shaun Scott's race for Seattle City Council, his vision for Seattle, and the quality of his character. The Palate Cleanser: SPOOKY EDITION! We tell our own personal creeeeepy stories. Three horrifying stories of the weird, maybe paranormal? Certainly not normal! AND THE TEAM IS ATTACKED!
Our friend Kiesha stops by at the end of our show to help celebrate Jay's birthday. Kiesha started a non-profit called Opportunities in Our Communities, and we hang out to do the Palate Cleanser! Also in this epi: Sarah Smith, Jay Smith, Corn Smith, & Atom Smith. Failed Attack on Synagogue Atom speaks to the terrorist attack on a German Synagogue during Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for the Jewish community. Thwarted by a door, it was streamed live on Twitch for over 30 minutes, with recordings being seen by 2200 people before it was removed. Atom recounts the experience and shares some poignant reflection on the Martyrology and shares the words of Rabbi Jonathan Perlman, who survived the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Stop Frontin': The Stranger Doesn't Like Egan Or!on, But They Love His Money The Stranger, Seattle's naughty weekly runs an ad on the front page of their paper that breaks laws, hearts, minds. Sarah says: "HE'S NOT IT, MAN!" Basically, they confused a lot of people, received an ethics violation report from their own editorial board, and when approached, rolled their eyes so long and slow and disdainfully that we nodded off. They used that opportunity to slip out of our bed and through our bedroom window without saying goodbye. We will certainly not invite them over again the next time we match on Facebook's dating service. BOO LARRY LARK FROM THE EVERETT HERALD WITH US! The Everett Herald, a Washington newspaper serving Snohomish County. Like the Stranger, the Everett Herald changed up their ads, providing ad space that looks EXACTLY like an article - but written entirely by the campaign. Once they sold those ads, again, that look exactly like articles, they reach out to the opposition and shake them down, offering them the chance to rebut the "ADVERTORIAL" content for just $500.00 a week. Corn is ON IT like a hot, buttery bonnet. Blizzard's Latest Release: Support for Hong Kong Blizzard takes away the winnings from the top winner from a Hearthstone competition because he spoke in favor of Hong Kong's fight for independence from China. They took away his prize money, banned him from the game, and fired anyone in proximity to the occurrence. The internet isn't impressed. Guest Courtney Love for Tacoma City Council Courtney Love (No, not that one, the important one) is running for Tacoma City Council. She won her primary by 13 votes, having triggered a hand-recount, per Washington State rules, to face Conor McCarthy in the November election. Conor McCarthy supports the Liquid Natural Gas Plant in Tacoma, is a proud moderate, doesn't want to ban plastic bags in Tacoma, smiles like a guest model in an off-brand Land's End catalog. The TNT calls Love, an unabashed progressive, "fringe" - which is interesting, given that Conor McCarthy appears to be a far-right Republican as defined by his stance, or lack of, on key issues, while Courtney's wild fringe ideas call for handling homelessness with common sense and compassion, investing responsibly in our community, and being accountable to that same community when making decisions that run the risk of causing more harm than good. Thank you to the following music and FX makers: Intro Artist: Looprep Title: Soulful People License: Promoted by: Discussion Segue: Artist: Elisa P Song: Through the Night License: Promoted by: Outtro Artist: Stacy Jones Band Title: Diggin' in the Mud License: Promoted by: Big News Breakdown Sound Artist: Mansardian Title: News End Signature.Wave License: Promoted by:
Spoiler Alert! Mike Yestramski Jr. came to visit to talk about his run for President of the AFSCME Council 28 WFSE, then Jay slipped into something more comfortable (a giant Penguin suit), and Yestramski won his race! So if you are running, you might want to hire Jay for your campaign, your children's birthday party, and bat mitzvahs. Jay Inslee ignores the Indigenous people assembled at the State Capitol begging for an audience, Inslee has no time because just so busy fighting mango-flavored vape cartridges. The current Senate Majority Leader gets the majority of his funding from tobacco, which makes us question our motives here. Our Jay walks us through a paper written by 68-year-old Professor Shawn Rosenberg that has SHOCKED! (shocked they say!) the establishment, as he dismantled everything they know about American Democracy. From politico: "Rosenberg, a professor at UC Irvine, was challenging a core assumption about America and the West. His theory? Democracy is devouring itself, in his paper predicting the end of democracy." We talk to Mike Yestramski about unions, his experience as a psychiatric social worker at Western State Hospital and his run for President of AFSCME Council 28 WFSE. We break down what he does at Western State Hospital, he talks about the importance representation and collective bargaining, and why he is running. It is a great conversation, an important dialogue on representation. Everyone begrudgingly takes a personality test, but they are salty because it didn't come from a teen magazine to help you find out "Which Friends Character are You" or "WHAT KIND OF CROISSANT ARE YOU" Buzzfeed quiz. Turns out Jay is that one guy at the coffee place that was really bitchy about doing his job. Thanks for editing the show, jay! Thanks to the following creators: Intro Artist: Telboy Title: What I am License: Promoted by: Discussion Segue: Artist: Joedavy6 Song: This Is Nothing New License: Promoted by: Outtro Artist: TaylorCasey Title: Heaven Knows License: Promoted by: Big News Breakdown Sound Artist: Mansardian Title: News End Signature.Wave License: Promoted by:
Sarah is joined by hosts Troy, Corn, and Atom, with producer Jay on the dials. In this episode, we visit with our old friend Franciose and Adam and talk their political activism via their roles with ASUCD, or Associated Students of the University of California Davis. We also talk Facebook dating, Aliens, What the &#^? Blink 182 invented UFOs. I beg the powers that be in this, the worst timeline, that we don't have to talk more about this in the future. Facebook Dating, wherein we discover that Atom is catfishing, and also dodging his mom on dating apps. Weird! Big News Breakdown! Working Families Party endorses Elizabeth Warren, and the internet blows up. Both Sarah and Troy are members of the MLK County Working Families Party, and we've got positions. We also take some time to talk about the impact that the rancor has had on WFP staff. The Conversation: Francoise is a former campaign volunteer for Sarah's Congressional run who is currently in California for school at UC Davis. He's currently the Chief of Staff to the President of the Associated Students the University of California Davis. Our special guest Adam is the external affairs vice president. ASUCD is a 15 million dollar independent organization that represents students wherever they may need representation, and they talk about their work in politics, advocacy, and activism in YOLO COUNTY! WUT!? Palate Cleanser: We eat some nasty candies, wash it down with nasty booze, and make a lot of noise. We glaze some donuts, which doesn't sound right and didn't taste right either. Wally Winky Wankings and the Chocolate Double Bubble Factory makes an appearance. We're very thankful for being able to use the following music and sound effects, please patronize these artists and creators: Intro Artist: orbitmusic Title: Original License: Promoted by: Discussion Segue: Artist: JeanMarc Song: The Word Love License: Promoted by: Outtro Artist: Cocoman Title: 10 Real Vibes License: Promoted by: Big News Breakdown Sound Artist: Mansardian Title: News End Signature.Wave License: Promoted by:
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