My Recent Interview on the Rob Kall “Bottom Up” Radio Show

Here’s an interview posted last week by Rob Kall on OpEdNews, where Rob is the editor in chief and where I’m now serving as a senior editor. The exchange took place at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. As you’ll see, I’m speaking from my basement office in our home in Westport, Connecticut. (I’m thinking that I should do something to make the venue seem less like a basement. . .) Anyway, it’s the third time Rob has had me on his show.

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

10 thoughts on “My Recent Interview on the Rob Kall “Bottom Up” Radio Show”

  1. Mike, have you considered assertion of “Healthcare as a Human Right” from the point of view of healthcare providers? especially the lowest-paid nursing aides who provide essential front line services?

    Do you, me, or anyone else have a “right” to their essential services? (Or is healthcare a universal human responsibility — first to yourself, and then to others)

    Consider the conditions where medical staff are exposed to Covid (or MRSA, or AIDS, or influenza, or assaults from demented patients, or back injury from transferring patients, etc. etc.) Many of them do this without complaint. But do they OWE you this as some “right”?

    ProPublica ran an interesting article about nursing homes in NY that did not inform nursing aides when they were exposed; and aides who quit immediately when they understood they were being exposed, given the risk to themselves and their families


    1. No, Mary, those health care workers don’t owe me anything. They are generous people who like so many others in dangerous professions choose to serve the public even at risk of their own lives. They should be honored and paid accordingly. (By the way, Mary, I was so proud of your contribution to the OEN discussion this evening. It reminded me of your always thoughtful and informed comments in class all those years ago. Very proud.) You’re a champ. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it bizarre, ludicrous even that the government geniuses have rushed to pay all manner of officials, including “contact tracers” for $20-22 per hour…. while nursing homes were understaffed to begin with… and the situation was worse when officials (in NY, NJ, PA, MN and elsewhere) deigned to push infected people into housing with un-infected people, thereby inducing a massive death rate.

    Consider: each nursing home patient may cost the nearly bankrupt State $100,000 per year or more.

    Multiply that $100,000 by a few thousand?

    Then the State saves a nice bundle of tax-collected funds — cash that they can then squander on travel, parties, “conferences”, and who knows what else. Government officials, elected and unelected, find all sorts of interesting ways to dispense cash that comes into their control. How boring to spend that money on basic care home staff, and the vulnerable people in their care!


    1. Even more infuriating is the fact that it costs at least $50,000 per year to incarcerate every individual in the U.S. prison system. Multiply that figure by the 2.3 million people now confined to U.S. prisons. Imagine if the money were used to send such individuals to someplace like Berea College instead. Just sayin’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Current attorney for General Michael Flynn, and former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell has said during her public speeches that 5% of our prison population are political prisoners (result of rampant corruption).

        The prisons also house many mentally ill individuals. (I have emailed Rob Kall to ask if we might discuss the role of mental illness in relation to crime, policing, and politics — I really wish there was much more public discussion/education on this. Mr. Kall mentioned in last Saturday’s Zoom that he had worked part-time shepherding mentally ill individuals while a grad student. He probably has some idea of the scope of the problem). Many former asylums have been shut down/defunded because of abuse; at the same time the need for asylum still exists, and alternative programs have problems that don’t see public scrutiny.

        While in San Francisco many months ago, I toured Alcatraz Island and was surprised, the tour was more interesting and thought-provoking than I had anticipated. Left the place with many more questions than I would have asked, before


  3. So, had opportunity to finish the interview.

    Very happy for your family that your grandchildren can attend a Montessori School. I wish more people knew about Montessori, it is such a respectful, practical approach to learning. I have sometimes noticed disinformation targeting Montessori Method. Montessori does not receive the accurate focus and reporting that it deserves.


  4. “Putting others first” is often set out as a worthy goal. After agreeing that it is noble, few people delve into the associated problems.

    One problem is rampant dishonesty. This can be malicious, but it is also done to spare people’s feelings, or to conform and not appear “out of place”. Thus people will indicate that they want/need/desire one thing — when in fact this is untrue. Meanwhile a person may be living a lie and suffering, to the point of suicide (which is rampant, but impolite to discuss).

    It is possible to prioritize the self with honesty, and to look farther and notice that what benefits the self, normally tends to benefit others as well. Setting up organizations that direct the lives of other people “for their own good” is a treacherous and oppressive path. Necessary in some cases, but difficult to navigate well and respectfully


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