About Rachel

Your friendly neighborhood microbiologist in Boise, Idaho.

[Unlocked] Feb 9, 2021 – State-Level Labor Law, Part II – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 349

To prepare for a series on early industrial Massachusetts we’re unlocking this episode from Patreon: Bill and Rachel examine what an 1842 Massachusetts court decision can tell us about the process of industrialization and the emergence of labor unions and what parallels we can draw for modern gig workers.

Links and notes for ep. 349 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Bonus-AFD-Ep-349-Links-and-Notes-State-level-labor-law-part-2_-Early-history.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

[Unlocked] May 11, 2021 – Military Resistance to the Vietnam War – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 373

Unlocked from our Patreon: Bill and Rachel discuss the 2005 documentary “Sir! No Sir!” on US military service members who resisted the Vietnam War.

Links and notes for ep. 373 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Bonus-AFD-Ep-373-Links-and-Notes-Military-Resistance-to-the-Vietnam-War.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Dec 27, 2022 – 1872, 1922, and 1972 in review – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 454

Bill and Rachel discuss some interesting American history topics from 150, 100, and 50 years ago that did not make the cut for their own full anniversary episodes this year.

Links and notes for ep. 454 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/AFD-Ep-454-Links-and-Notes-2022-Year-End-Anniversary-Roundup-Episode.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Dec 11, 2022 – The Burlington Railroad Strike of 1888 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 452

Bill and Rachel examine the relatively minor failed Burlington railroad engineers and firemen strike in 1888, which had a profound effect on Eugene V. Debs.

Links and notes for ep. 452 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/AFD-Ep-452-Links-and-Notes-Burlington-railroad-strike-of-1888.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Dec 3, 2022 – Microwave Ovens – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 451

Rachel and Bill discuss the history of the microwave oven since its invention at a defense contractor.

Links and notes for ep. 451 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/AFD-Ep-451-Links-and-Notes-Microwave-Oven.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.


Nov 27, 2022 – The Pulaski – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 450

In this mini-episode, Rachel explains the invention of Ed Pulaski’s popular firefighting tool, a combination axe and adze, after the infamous Big Burn forest fire in Idaho in August 1910.

Links and notes from ep. 450 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AFD-Ep-450-Links-and-Notes-The-Pulaski-Tool.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Nov 20, 2022 – The Great Southwest Railroad Strike of 1886 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 449

Bill and Rachel explore the disappointments of the Great Southwest Railroad strike of 1886 and reflect on potential lessons for present-day railroad labor relations. (Note: After we recorded this episode, the results were released for the 2022 rail worker votes on tentative agreements. The engineers narrowly approved the proposed contract, while the conductors narrowly rejected it.)

Links and notes for ep. 449 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/AFD-Ep-449-Links-and-Notes-Great-Southwest-Railroad-Strike-of-1886.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.