About Rachel

Your friendly neighborhood microbiologist in Boise, Idaho.

May 14, 2023 – Barbed Wire – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 470

150 years ago, in May 1873, work began on developing the breakthrough design for mass-produced barbed wire, with wide-ranging (pun intended) implications for agriculture, society, and warfare.

Links and notes for ep. 470 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/AFD-Ep-470-Links-and-Notes-Barbed-Wire.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

May 7, 2023 – Hollywood Strikes – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 469

After a quick chat about the ongoing 2023 Writers Guild of America strike, we look back at a few of the noteworthy strikes in Hollywood of years past. (Bill and Rachel)

Links and notes for ep. 469 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/AFD-Ep-469-Links-and-Notes-Hollywood-Strikes.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Apr 30, 2023 – Home Economics/Domestic Science – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 468

This week we are talking about the field of home economics or domestic science. Was it really a science? To what extent was it a marketing exercise? Can it ever really overcome its founding racist and classist overtones? Does home economics even exist anymore?

Links and note for ep. 468 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/AFD-Ep-468-Links-and-Notes-Home-Economics_Domestic-Science.pdf

Opening music by Stunt Bird.

Apr 23, 2023 – The Council on Books in Wartime – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 467

The non-profit Council on Books in Wartime (from US publishers) during World War II single-handedly made a bunch of books like The Great Gatsby into major American texts by providing specialized paperback copies free to the troops. (Bill and Rachel)

Links and notes for ep. 467 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/AFD-Ep-467-Links-and-Notes-Council-on-Books-in-Wartime.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

Apr 15, 2023 – The Nye Committee – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 466

From 1934 to 1936, the US Senate’s Nye Committee examined the role of the private defense industry (and capitalism more broadly) in fomenting global conflict and dragging the US into WWI. (Bill and Rachel)

Links and notes for ep. 466 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/AFD-Ep-466-Links-and-Notes-The-Nye-Committee.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Apr 9, 2023 – Federal Deposit Insurance – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 465

The recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank and federal intervention to protect its previously uninsured accounts has brought renewed focus to Federal Deposit Insurance. Contrary to popular belief, it was not part of the New Deal and was not championed by FDR. (Bill and Rachel)

Links and notes for ep. 465 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/AFD-Ep-465-Links-and-Notes-Federal-Deposit-Insurance.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Apr 2, 2023 – The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1887-88 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 464

The failed anthracite coal mine workers strike of 1887-88 in eastern Pennsylvania illustrates some of the fault lines and contradictions within capitalism and highlight some of the ways our 21st century economy is devolving back toward older patterns. (Bill and Rachel)

Links and notes for ep. 464 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/AFD-Ep-464-Links-and-Notes-Anthracite-Coal-Strike-of-1887-88.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.