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New book looks at root causes of civil unrest

 January 6, 2022 at 5:22 PM PST

Speaker 1: (00:00)

The January 6th anniversary and our declining democracy, we

Speaker 2: (00:05)

Are in a battle for the soul of America.

Speaker 1: (00:10)

I'm Jade Henman with Christina. Kim is off. This is KPBS midday edition. The deep impact businesses are experiencing due to COVID. The

Speaker 3: (00:28)

Hard part is we kind of thought we were getting over this and then to have a new wave of a new variant. So this is especially worrisome

Speaker 1: (00:35)

A double Dutch club, providing a space for healing and fun. Plus our top movies to watch that's ahead on midday edition Year ago today insurrectionists swarmed the us capital, shocking the nation, and leaving many wondering about how robust our democracy really is a new book coming out next week, looks at the conditions that lead to civil conflict in countries and searches for answers to avoid them. Barbara Walter professor of political science at the university of California, San Diego and author of the book, how civil wars start and how to stop them, joins us professor Walter. Welcome.

Speaker 4: (01:30)

Thank you very much. So your

Speaker 1: (01:32)

Book goes through the ingredients that often lead to civil war. What are the most important of those?

Speaker 4: (01:39)

Yeah, so I've been studying civil wars around the world for the last 30 years. Places like Syria in Iraq, Mozambique, Northern Ireland. And one of the things that we've learned is that two factors in particular tend to emerge, um, in the lead up to civil war, no matter where they break out. And those two factors are what we call an in. Um, it's a fancy term for partial democracy. It's a government that's neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic. It's something in between. And the second factor is whether a country's politics devolve into racial, ethnic, or religious politics.

Speaker 1: (02:20)

How big of a role do you think racism plays in the demise, our democracy. And also, do you think other nations have been able to further weaponize that against us?

Speaker 4: (02:30)

I think it plays a role. And the way I look at it is this, the us is in the midst of an enormous transformation. Um, an enormous transformation that many people aren't even aware of. It's a movement from the us being a, uh, a white majority country to a white minority country by 2045. The United States is expected to have a majority of citizens who are non-white. This has been deeply threatening to a subset of the white population here in the United States. And they're the ones that have been participating in things like the January 6th attack on the capital. One of the things that we know from our studies of other countries, that experience civil war is we know who starts tends to start these wars. It's not the poorest groups in society. It's not the immigrants, it's not the groups that are most discriminated against the groups that tend to start civil wars are the groups that were ones politically dominant and have either lost power or are in the process of losing power. You've

Speaker 1: (03:37)

Studied civil conflicts in Ken countries throughout the globe. Uh, is America today unique from other countries you looked at and how is it the same? Well, we

Speaker 4: (03:46)

Like to think of ourselves as unique. Every country likes to think of itself as unique, but when you look at across countries and over time, and I've been studying civil wars since 1946, and there's been over 200 of them, you start to see patterns and these patterns emerge no matter what, the unique conditions of that country. So when I was serving on this task force, we never looked at the United States. We were not allowed to look at the United States. It didn't occur to us to look at the United States, even if we had been allowed to, of course, over the last five years, I've been watching what's happening in this country. I've been watching our democracy decline. I've been watching our politics become more, more and more racially determined. It used to be back even as late as 2008, white Americans were split almost evenly between the democratic party and the Republican party. In fact, for white, the white working class here in the United States, the democratic party was a better home for them because the Democrats tended to support social policies that has changed. Now, the Republican party is 90% white. And so I've watched this emerge. These two factors emerge over the last five years, and it was impossible not to not to inform the American public about what was going on.

Speaker 1: (05:08)

One factor. You mentioned that often sparks civil conflict is hopelessness. What do you mean by that? People

Speaker 4: (05:15)

Don't generally like to, uh, use violence. People don't want war, but they will to violence when they lose hope in the existing system. And here in the United States, I do think, uh, the, the subset of the white population that is deeply threatened by changing demographics has come to realize that democracy no longer works for them.

Speaker 1: (05:40)

Going back to, to the let's talk about hopelessness. What do you make though, of that in terms of who you feel is really causing a lot of the civil unrest and violence, uh, as it pertains to January 6th, you've got a group of people who have somewhat who have benefited and thrived in institutions of systemic racism. Now suddenly feeling hopeless. What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 4: (06:07)

We know that far right militias have increased dramatically since 2008. Um, when Obama came into power, when he was elected president, I think this is just the, the physical manifestation of all of the fears of the far right. Um, especially white supremacists on the, on the far, right? The fact that we had an African American president, the fact that a majority of, uh, of his cabinet in his first term were non-white. Um, I think this put them into a panic. And you saw surge since then in the formation of these militias, in

Speaker 1: (06:42)

An essay for the New York times on last year's attack. Uh, former president Jimmy Carter writes that our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening Abys without immediate action. We are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. What types of immediate action do you feel are needed to bring the temperature down in this country?

Speaker 4: (07:06)

So I think there's three things that we can do. And, and we know the warning signs of, of civil war and political violence, it's democracy, and it's this highly racialized politics. If you know the warning signs beforehand, you can do something about it. So the three things that I think we could do right now are one, get the message out, inform Americans that, uh, the decline in democracy is far more dangerous than they actually believe. The real threat is, is not that we're gonna become an authoritarian country like Iran or North Korea. The real threat is that we're gonna become this in this that's this type of government that's that's in between. And that tends to be where much of the instability and much of the violence occurs. The second thing that we can do, um, is to get partisan politics out of, out of elections.

Speaker 4: (08:05)

Um, you know, the fact that parties are in, in charge of, of running elections at the local level, state level and counting the vote. I mean, this is unheard of in almost every other democracy around the world. And then we have to strengthen our democracy, the United States for historical reasons, because we, we originally were a slave holding country, um, included in its constitution, all sorts of deeply undemocratic features that are, that are now archaic and are, are, are harmful to the strength and, and survival of our democracy. And that includes the ability to gerrymander the, the filibuster, which actually came afterwards, uh, money in politics. Uh, all of these things are, are ways in, in, in which the minority can increasingly gain power at the expense of the majority. And the one thing that we have learned, um, by looking at all of these other cases outside the United States is that full liberal democracies don't experience civil wars. It's the ones that are in the middle. It's the weaker ones that do. I've been

Speaker 1: (09:13)

Speaking with the, a Walter author of the book, how civil wars start and how to stop them, which comes out next week. Professor Walter, thank you so much for your time.

Speaker 4: (09:24)

It's my pleasure. Thank you. Very much

Speaker 5: (09:34)

Instances are restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses temporarily closing their doors are becoming more and more common as the highly infectious Omicron variant continues to spread at an unprecedented rate among the nation's population. As businesses continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic, uncertainty remains high over how latest surge will impact commerce in the long and short term. Joining me now with more is Jason Wells, chief executive of the Sandy Cedar chamber of commerce. Jason, welcome to the program. Good morning. Thank you. We're seeing historically high case numbers and extensive transmission of the virus in recent weeks. Has this impacted businesses in your area?

Speaker 3: (10:15)

Well, AB you know, I think the, the hard part is we're all, uh, we, we kind of thought we were getting over this, right. Um, and then to have a, this, this new wave of a new variant, um, you know, as a chamber, we're doing all we can, uh, we've got, uh, uh, uh, sanitizer, gel masks, everything we provide out to our businesses. Uh, we've got a, uh, agreement with Sani health. They've vaccinate folks here in our, uh, parking lot, um, to date. Um, I think they've done a couple thousand, which, uh, their next highest site was like 600. Uh, so we're doing all we can on the business owners, it's especially tough, uh, you know, San with the border restrictions. We were only actually allowed to reopen, uh, a little over a month ago. Uh, so this is, is, this is especially worrisome, you know, and then I think also you get the impact of, you know, you're hearing the news and it's like, okay, this is spreading fast, but it's not as bad. So now you have people wondering, you know, should we be as, as, as worried, you know, as we were before of of course, again, as a chamber, we were saying, yes, but I think, you know, we've been given the precautions, you know, if you're are wearing the masks and doing the distancing and being vaccinated, you know, the shouldn't be much to worry about. That's kind of the, the attitude we've been taking.

Speaker 5: (11:25)

Are you hearing concerns from business owners about having to close down because of this surge

Speaker 3: (11:31)

We endured over 20 months of in effect being closed because of border restrictions. So our business are not set up to endure any further kind of closure. You know, it it's, we, you know, we're fighting for our livelihoods here. Um, as I said, as a chamber, we're just making sure that we do it safely, assuming the CDC knows what they're talking about and we believe they do. We're gonna, you know, continue in the safest way

Speaker 5: (11:54)

Possible. As you're saying, Sandy Ciro is in the unique position of having much of its commerce, having just recently been reinvigorated by the recent border opening. So how are businesses faring? Was there an uptick during the holiday season and how, if at all, is this recent search kind of just changing way business is working down at the border.

Speaker 3: (12:14)

There's obviously an uptick in, in, in the removal of the restrictions. However, as you started the segment out with, you know, uncertainty is always the worst piece here. And so for us, when you're talking about border crossings, anytime there's uncertainty, as far as if the border is open or not, you know, people will, will not make trips. And so in our case, even though the restrictions were lifted for vaccinated people, there's still a question in Baja as to do my children need to be vaccinated. Do I have the right kind of vaccination is my vaccination on the list, those types of things that kept people back still. So we've seen an uptake, but still only about 75% of our normal traffic,

Speaker 5: (12:52)

Aside from the surge BI business owners are having to contend with the great resignation as well, a record number of 4.5 million Americans quit their job this past November. Are you hearing about a shortage of workers, are businesses in San struggling to attract workers?

Speaker 3: (13:08)

Absolutely. You know, the interesting thing is, uh, you know, amids all the problems the economy seems to be doing well because they're, there's a lot of jobs, you know, low end retail or, or, or, uh, tourist jobs. What have you that are paying, you know, 17, $18 an hour. So I've got people that sell, you know, pizza by the slice, and they're like, I can't afford over 14 an hour. Right. And they've had to change over their staffs completely. Yes, we are definitely seeing a work shortage. It's maybe not as accepted as some areas, but, uh, we still are being impacted. Like I said, I I've, I've got restaurants that have, uh, completely changed over their, their, uh, staff, uh, because it's, it, it, it's hard to find employees,

Speaker 5: (13:46)

Right? You mentioned this earlier that businesses have endured so long and so much, and are already fighting for their livelihood, as you're saying, employing family members to it through, but there's still the issue of temporary closure due to a significant portion of staff being sick. Are you seeing a lot of that? And, and what does that mean for the future of business in the San area?

Speaker 3: (14:06)

That's just something as business owners we have to deal with. Uh, there there's no magical pot of, of employees anywhere. Like I said, we've been utilizing families both to get through, you know, the time we had border restrictions and employees couldn't even get, uh, you know, to work on time. And now with people being out with positive COVID

Speaker 5: (14:23)

Tests, as we start this new year, I know there's a lot going on, but what's your short term outlook for local businesses.

Speaker 3: (14:30)

Santa Sierra is at the heart of our national region, very strong by national region. So I, I think we're gonna be okay. What the holiday season allowed us to do is stabilize some of these businesses. Um, of course, then no Macron comes in. So I'm hoping that this is just a bump in the road. I think we're gonna have a fairly strong spring. Um, again, stabilizing ourselves, allowing our businesses to pay off debt that they incurred to over the months of the restrictions where they had no clientele. You know, I think business is going to be okay, what we're doing as a chambers, we've developed a recovery plan. Some of that is a one on one assistance to businesses in helping get a little bit more onto eCommerce. We've got some infrastructure, concepts and projects, uh, that were trying to do the businesses. We also lost, uh, 276 businesses.

Speaker 3: (15:14)

So some of that infrastructure improvement is meant to bring in new businesses. Um, however, it's been a little slow in getting all of those elected officials that felt bad for us during the restrictions. It's been as little slow, having them with, uh, give us checks to help put the recovery right now. As far as the chamber concerned, we have three major focuses. That's one helping businesses get through, uh, this latest wave two, it's getting our recovery plan funded and three it's working with CBP to get the, uh, reduction of border. Wait times back as a, as a priority. Again, we can be fully open with no , but if we've got three to five hour border wait times, and we're still closed,

Speaker 5: (15:53)

I've been talking with Jason Wells, chief executive of the San C chamber of commerce. Thank you so much, Jason.

Speaker 3: (15:59)

Thank you.

Speaker 1: (16:06)

You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Christina Kim, Maureen Kavanaugh is off double Dutch is when a group uses two jump ropes with one person in the middle, jumping and dancing and singing to music. It's a cherished childhood pastime, but KPBS, race and equity reporter. Christina Kim says some local women are reclaiming double Dutch as adults and creating a healing space in the pro.

Speaker 4: (16:34)

I said

Speaker 5: (16:37)

Any given Wednesday night at the allied gardens community center, chances are, you'll hear the sound of music echoing off the basketball court. Cement. You'll also hear the sound of women all over the age of 40 laughing and playing double Dutch. That turns,

Speaker 6: (16:53)

Yeah, I'm excited. When I come to double Dutch, like when I know it's Wednesdays, you can ask my husband and my son it's. I'm like it's double Dutch, Wednesdays.

Speaker 5: (17:01)

That's Seara shields, the captain and founder of San Diego's 40 plus double Dutch chapter. She first started the club last summer after seeing a viral video on Facebook about the original 40 plus double Dutch group in Chicago. I

Speaker 6: (17:14)

Looked at it and I said, wait, where are these women? I need friends like this.

Speaker 5: (17:17)

She organized a club and then started spreading the word locally.

Speaker 6: (17:21)

I put it on black San Diego and asked, Hey, um, I'm looking for women over 40. If you're interested, DME and I had about 50 50 plus women say, Hey, I'm interested. Where are you?

Speaker 5: (17:34)

15 of those 50 women became the core San Diego chapter. They're all older than 40 years old and proud of it. Okay. Down.

Speaker 6: (17:44)


Speaker 5: (17:44)

You gonna be older than in fact their ages are in blazant on the back of their club. T-shirts, that's the only rule everyone's welcome. But you have to be a woman and you have to be over 40.

Speaker 7: (17:56)

We don't wanna deal with men with boyfriends, with husbands. We don't wanna deal with kids. This, we want this to be a time for us.

Speaker 5: (18:05)

Pamela Robinson is the founder of the first 40 plus double group in Chicago. And she oversees over 100 sub clubs around the world,

Speaker 7: (18:13)

Because at the age of 40, you do so much for other people. We're always doing for other people and holding everything together for everybody else. So we need some time to just hold ourselves together.

Speaker 5: (18:29)

Back in San Diego, Rosa bar Williams has been part of the group since the beginning.

Speaker 6: (18:34)

I think it's just bringing out the youth and, and all of us. And that's why I think it's the 40 plus, you know, although you're 40, it doesn't matter. You can still come here, have fun. Bring your childhood games

Speaker 5: (18:45)

With you. The formula is simple. Each time the club meets, they hate turns playing double Dutch. So

Speaker 6: (18:52)

Now this is just us getting our double Dutch,

Speaker 5: (18:55)

Our warmup. They hula hoop.

Speaker 6: (18:57)

We got a party, we got 50, we got,

Speaker 5: (19:02)

And they dance. It's really good exercise, but it's also more than that.

Speaker 6: (19:12)

I've had several horrible days and if it wasn't on a Wednesday where we do meet, it was one of my sisterhoods in the back behind me, all of my sisters, being able to help me out, being able to just reach out outside of the whole junk. You know, Wednesday is just the day we come together, but are there for each other each and every

Speaker 5: (19:32)

Week. And that sisterhood is exactly what Regina Dixon Reeves was looking for. When she joined the group. After moving to San Diego in July,

Speaker 8: (19:40)

We have such a small, uh, black population in San Diego about 5%. And so I was just looking for people who kind of looked like me, who had some of the activities that

Speaker 5: (19:49)

I did shortly after moving. She had to get emergency dental surgery. She didn't know anyone. It was Rosa, her fellow jumper, who took care of her and told her

Speaker 8: (19:59)

Girl, you here by yourself, I'll drive. You I'll see about you. I'll make sure that you all right, right. If I hadn't had this group, I wouldn't have had that connection in the end.

Speaker 5: (20:08)

It's a place all their own, where they can reconnect who they used to be

Speaker 8: (20:12)

For an hour, hour and a half. You get to just kind of laugh and joke and be a kid again. Um, be a black girl. That is wonderful. Cuz one thing about it, many of us, black girls, we grew up a lot too fast. And so this gives you a chance to revisit

Speaker 5: (20:26)

That because sometimes in order to be an adult in this world, it helps to remember what it was like to be a kid again, which is why every Wednesday, these local San Diego women are making the time to lace up their sneakers and play until the lights go out. Christina Kim K PS news,

Speaker 5: (20:54)

California is the most populous and diverse state in the country. And for years in spite of setbacks, like the pandemic, the state's GDP has grown and competed on the international stage. But what, what do these economic factors really mean for Californians? How are people actually faring a new study by measure of America? A project of the social science research council aims to answer that question by providing a portrait of California that focuses less on economic measures and more on people's wellbeing. Kristin Lewis is the director of measure of America and the studies lead author. And she joins me now. Welcome Kristin,

Speaker 9: (21:31)

Thanks so much, Christina, for having me. Your study

Speaker 5: (21:34)

Shows that overall wellbeing has steadily increased over the past two decades here in California, but that these gains haven't been equal. I wanna get to that, but first, can you even explain how one begins to your wellbeing and how that's different than say other measures that people look at such as unemployment?

Speaker 9: (21:53)

So measure of America helps the nation assess its progress by focusing on how people are doing, rather than relying solely on economic indicators like GDP. So in the us, you know, we tend to follow money mass like GDP, as you said, unemployment, the stock market, all these things very closely. And we use them to gauge how well we're doing as society. And these economic indicators provide really important information, but using them as proxies for societal progress paints, um, and incomplete, and sometimes MIS eating picture. So we really need to focus much more attention on data, um, on the wellbeing of ordinary people. So that's what we try to do with our reports, like a portrait of California. Um, the hallmark of our work is the American human development index. It's a measure of wellbeing that combines the best available data on health, education, and income, which are, you know, three fundamental building blocks of a good life into a single number that falls on a scale from zero to 10. And we use this index and, and the scores to understand wellbeing across race and ethnicity, gender, and place.

Speaker 5: (23:04)

So what did you find? What were some of the major takeaways in this latest edition of portrait of California? What

Speaker 9: (23:10)

We found is that first of all, um, we did our first portrait of California in 2011. And since then we have found that, um, California as a whole has improved, it had higher scores than the country as a whole then and still does now and has improved at a quicker pace. Um, so that's good news. We, we did find though that there are stubborn, um, racial and ethnic disparities that persist the some good news is that, um, the score for Latino Californians, uh, went up a lot over that time. And the score for Asian Californians also went up. What was very dismaying is there was a big drop in wellbeing for native Americans and also for black Californians.

Speaker 5: (23:53)

So when you say there's an increase and a drop in wellbeing, can you gimme a little more detail about that? Does that mean that their income went up, that their life expectancy went down? What exactly are we calculating when you say that their numbers went up or down?

Speaker 9: (24:07)

The score for Latinos went up by about 40% over this period of time and what happened to make that happen? Um, their earnings went up, their life expectancy went up and, um, their educational attainment also went up. So, um, basically we use, as I said, three areas, uh, to measure wellbeing. So for health, we use life expectancy at birth for, um, access to knowledge or education. We use educational degree attainment for adults over 25 and school enrollment for kids ages three to, um, 24 young people as well. And then for, um, standard of living, we use median personal earnings. So those are the wages and salaries, everyone. Um, who's working ages 16 and above what we saw for native Americans in terms of, uh, the dismaying drop in wellbeing. They lost a lot in terms of life expectancy. So that really pulled down their score. What do

Speaker 5: (25:00)

You think is driving these disparities?

Speaker 9: (25:03)

Well, a lot of things, it's a, it's a complicated, a sort of set of circumstances. I think one thing to make sure, um, we acknowledge is that the disparities we see between racial and ethnic groups, um, didn't just come out of nowhere. They don't, there's nothing sort of natural about them. They don't just happen. They're the results of policy choices made over well centuries in a, in, in essence in California, by people in power. And that's really, what's driving a lot of the disparities that we see today.

Speaker 5: (25:34)

So we're here in San Diego, how is San Diego county faring?

Speaker 9: (25:38)

So if you look at the San Diego, um, Metro area, so that's San Diego, Chula Vista and Carlsbad, and it's San Diego county, of course, this area scores 6.20 on our 10 point scale. So just to refresh your memory, that's, um, above the California average, which is 5.85 San Diegos, uh, can expect to live to 82.6 years, they have an educational index score of 5.8, which again is above of the state average and have median personal earnings about 40,000. So that's the wages and salaries of all workers over 16. So San Diego greater San Diego ranks three out of the 32, uh, major Metro areas in California.

Speaker 5: (26:23)

What do you hope legislators and researchers do with this information in, in order to address the inequalities that you're finding, but also build off what seems to be a success in a lot of people's wellbeing?

Speaker 9: (26:36)

I think there are two things to focus on. One is as we move sort of out of, hopefully at some point the COVID pandemic, the areas that scored the lowest, the struggling California areas, those are the areas that were hardest hit, um, by COVID. Those are the areas that face the steepest climb to recovery, and those are areas where we should really invest our recovery dollars. So that's the first thing kind of moving out of COVID 19. And then the second thing to do is to help people, especially again, in struggling California, build the kind of human security they need to withstand, uh, the next disaster that's gonna be coming our way inevitably. So, um, that means making sure everyone, including undocumented people have health insurance, it means, um, help finding ways to keep people from falling into homelessness and all these kinds of things that build security against the sort of everyday challenges we face and also disasters like COVID 19, like the fires and, and things like this.

Speaker 5: (27:40)

I've been speaking with Kristen Lewis director of measure of Amer thank you so much for this important study.

Speaker 9: (27:46)

Thanks for having me, Christina. I really appreciate it.

Speaker 1: (27:54)

There is a new show coming to the fall lineup on K PBS. This one will take you on adventures to wineries, restaurants, and breweries from the comfort of your home to hear the stories of women in trailblazers of color, it's called fresh glass host and founder of sip wine bar, and beer joins us to talk about it. Cassandra shag. Welcome.

Speaker 10: (28:16)

Welcome, welcome. Thank you very much.

Speaker 1: (28:19)

Fresh glass is a docu series. What inspired this project?

Speaker 10: (28:24)

Yes. Uh, well, I'm glad to be a part of the KPBS family and I'm, and I'm honored and privileged to be able to have this, you know, shown, uh, on KPBS, but fresh glass is a docu series that created during COVID. Uh, it was, it was grown out of the virtual wine tastings that were taking place, uh, during co but while we were sitting at home and, and so I was able to connect with, um, you know, my collaborators and a lot of women in bipo, winemakers and brew masters who were doing phenomenal things to stay afloat. Uh, and we decided to create a show called fresh glass to highlight and share those stories because entrepreneurship, uh, is, is not for the faint of heart. And here we are

Speaker 1: (29:08)

Here we are. You know, I mean, this is really a continuation of what you do with sip wine bar, which is your tasting room in Escondido, um, where you elevate brands created by women and people of color. Talk about that and, and why it's so important to you.

Speaker 10: (29:24)

Yeah, so I open sip wine and be year in 2016. Uh, I cannot believe I am. What five, six years in business and this test tasting room and event space is dedicated to elevating brands created by women and bipo wine makers and brew masters. Uh, the industry is, uh, underrepresented when it comes to winemakers and brew masters with 2% being women and less than 1% being people of color. And so with the community support, I've been able to showcase those brands and drive economic impact to these niche brands that are making boutique phenomenal wine and beer. I mean, so

Speaker 1: (30:05)

What got you interested in wine and, and how did it become a, a vehicle to, to sort of elevate, uh, these trailblazers of color?

Speaker 10: (30:15)

Yeah, I mean, I look, I love drinking wine. Uh, I grew up in Temecula and through my ex exploration of traveling, uh, and in my professional journey, you know, we've been drinking, I've been drinking a lot of wine. And so to hear the stories, um, of people behind the bottle and really what it takes to make wine and beer is phenomenal. And I just took a risk. I moved to Escondido, uh, and I just, I excited to open a wine and beer tasty room that showcases community culture and conversation. And thankfully the city of Escondido was very welcoming, um, and warming to my idea. So I'm still here.

Speaker 1: (30:54)

So when people tune in to fresh glass in the fall, what can they expect to see?

Speaker 10: (30:59)

Uh, they can expect to see me traveling to around California, to some, um, of the states', uh, phenomenal wineries and breweries. And of course, a couple that are local. Uh, you get to hear the stories of entrepreneurs who, who have the grit and the perseverance to create their own rule book, um, for entrepreneurship, and to really make the happen, uh, in a space that, that, where there's a lot of people that don't look like me, uh, and you also get to learn about phenomenal wine and beers that are being made and a little bit about the process. Um, my goal is to take, you know, that, that connotation, that wine is something that's supposed to, to be for people who are wealthy, uh, and to really explore the facets of wine and beer with viewers. And I also wanna make sure that the people we are highlighting, um, also get the, you know, the recognition that they deserve as well. They have worked hard. Uh, they have been at their craft for 10, 15, 20 years, and the recognition that they deserve is due. And I'm just honored in that these people have entrusted me to share their story and journey.

Speaker 1: (32:13)

When working on the show, was there any, um, one story or one person that you interviewed that really inspired you?

Speaker 10: (32:20)

Yes, yes. Yeah. We're still in production, so I'm still, uh, but yes, uh, you know, one story, uh, that stands out to me is, um, Tara Gomez, who is the only native American woman winemaker in the country. And she was also honored as 2021, uh, winemaker the year by vine pair. Uh, she's been making wine for her tribe. Um, her whole life has been sent, has been spent making wine. And, you know, she's like the quiet person who just dedicates to her craft. Uh, and her wine is very popular in San Diego. Her brands are key and can means to dreams. And she's also the pilot episode of fresh glass. So the reason why her story sticks out is because she's the only native American woman to do it. And, and that has to be a hard road when you're the only one trying to perfect your craft.

Speaker 1: (33:17)

So ultimately when people's see your show, what do you hope people walk away with?

Speaker 10: (33:22)

I really hope people walk away, uh, being inspired, um, having a different world view of the wine beer in the food scene, um, making sure that they are supporting, uh, women in bipo brands and women of people of color in the wine, beer and food space, because it is detrimental, uh, that they get that support in order to continue pushing forward. Uh, and that you fi you figure out new places to travel to. Um, you know, there's so many, there's so many wineries in California and in San Diego, and to be able to visit wineries in breweries that are local, uh, and throughout the state is great for, you know, the economic drive. So I hope people tune in and get inspired.

Speaker 1: (34:10)

All right, I've been speaking with Cassandra shag host of fresh glass and founder of sip wine and beer. Thank you so much for joining us, Cassandra, cheers to you and congratulations.

Speaker 10: (34:20)

Thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 1: (34:26)

You're listening to K PBS midday edition. I'm Jade Henman with Christina Kim 2021 may have seen more cinemas open and more movies released in theaters, but it was still a difficult year for the entertainment industry. K PBS film critic by Amando is here to look back on the year to pick her favorites. Welcome

Speaker 11: (34:46)

Beth. Hey, thank you. So

Speaker 1: (34:48)

Has the pandemic made it easier or harder to compile your best of five list? Well,

Speaker 11: (34:54)

It's easier in terms of studios making a lot more films readily available through screening links, but it's harder with so many virtual releases and so many streaming. So I feel like on a certain level, I haven't seen enough films to do an accurate 10 best list. And that's one of my agonies is worrying that I might have missed that foreign film or that indie gem that should have been included and I missed it. But another issue is, is that so many films have had their opening dates rearranged and moved around. So I don't always know what year to place a film in. So one of the best films I saw in 2020 was St. Mod. And that was on my 10 best list for that year, but the studio is pushing it for a film this year. So I just wanted to mention that because that would've been on my list this year, if I hadn't already placed it on last year's. So

Speaker 1: (35:41)

How were the films this past year overall? I mean, and did you feel there was a strong pool of titles?

Speaker 11: (35:47)

I felt there were a lot of excellent films, but fewer films than last year that I felt really took chances and just knocked it out of the park. So fewer films, like, like St Mo or possessor uncut, or I'm thinking of ending things. So in some ways it's actually harder to pick the top five because they're all so different and not a single one really like left

Speaker 1: (36:08)

Out. Wow. Okay. We're gonna go through your top five. And if people wanna see your full list, they can find it tomorrow on your cinema junkie blog, along with the rest of your cinema junkie awards. But at number five, you have Jane campions the power of the dog. Here's a scene that sets the relationship with Benedict backs, uh, rough cowboy and a young boy. He likes to torment.

Speaker 12: (36:31)

I wonder what little lady made these

Speaker 13: (36:38)

Actually I did, sir. My mother was a Floris, so I made them to look like the ones in our garden.

Speaker 12: (36:48)

Oh, well do pardon me? They're just as real as possible Right now. Gentlemen, look, see, that's what you do with the cloth.

Speaker 14: (37:09)

Oh, oh,

Speaker 13: (37:13)

That's what it's really just for

Speaker 12: (37:15)

Wine drips. Oh, you got that boys. Oh, only for the drip. Now get us some food.

Speaker 1: (37:27)

All right. So Beth, what stood out about this

Speaker 11: (37:29)

Film? I love Jane Campion's confidence in creating a film that's made up mostly of like silences and minimal action. So this is a, a revenge story and one with quite a bit of brutality in a certain way, but it's so quiet and elegant that you might actually miss some of the key action if you're not paying attention. And the actor who plays the young boy, Cody Smit MCee is fabulous. And he and Benedict Cumba just have an amazing on screen chemistry working off of each other.

Speaker 1: (38:03)

So tell me about your number four pick, which is an animated documentary called flee.

Speaker 11: (38:07)

Yes. You don't see a lot of animated documentaries. So this is an animated documentary about the true story of a mean, who arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Denmark from Afghanistan. So it starts in the, with a mean now in his thirties recounting a secret, he's been hiding for two decades. So through an interview, he shares with his friend. We go back in time and in order to visualize what he went through, the film employs animation, as well as archive news footage. And it's just a stunning mix of animation and this voiceover narration. And it's a way to get into this man's story in a really clever way

Speaker 1: (38:48)

In your number three slot, you have Joel Cohen's adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Uh, here's a brief clip from that trailer

Speaker 15: (38:56)

By the pricking of my thumbs. Something wicked this way comes

Speaker 1: (39:16)

So intense. I love it already. You've said, Macbeth is your favorite Shakespeare place. So what did Cohen get right here?

Speaker 11: (39:22)

The visuals, this is such a cinematic film. So it's breathtakingly shot in black and white it's cinematic yet. It looks like it's shot on theatrical sets. So everything feels very kind of confined and limited. And that's perfect for the story of the ambitious Macbeth. And it's interesting for me because on a certain level, I didn't quite agree with Cohen's kind of emotional reading of the characters, but the film is just so intoxicatingly visual that it completely sucked me in and won me over.

Speaker 1: (39:57)

And in the number two spot is a film that you just recently found streaming on Amazon called nine days. It is described as being about a man interviewing human souls for a chance to be born. Uh, here's an early scene.

Speaker 16: (40:12)

As you know, you are being considered for the amazing of opportunity of life. If after this process, you are selected, you'll have the chance to be born in a fruitful environment where you can grow, develop and accomplish. Would you like to be considered for this position? I would, before we get started, may I call you Mike? Yes. Maria Alexander Kane. Yeah. Do you have any questions? Am I dead? I wouldn't say you're live or dead. Are you the boss? I would say a coele that sounds intense. How long is this process hard to pinpoint exactly. But if you make it until the end nine days, so I have nine days, yes. Or less after that, if you're selected, there is an extension is a newborn. If not, I would say it's the end.

Speaker 1: (41:23)

Very interesting. I mean, what did you like about this film?

Speaker 11: (41:26)

I love the wonderfully inventive premise that it uses. And Winston duke is amazing as this man who's interviewing these human souls and it's a film that sometimes approaches the kind of visual poetry of a Terrence Malik film. And it captures memories on VHS videotapes that it's playing in the background frequently. And there's just these wonderfully poetic moments that create this swell of emotion for you. The at capture, what it means to be alive and what it means to have your own identity and how to carry that over. And it was just a film that was surprising on so many levels and just emotionally rewarding. And it was such a surprise cuz I actually found it last night on Amazon. When I was searching around for some last minute, 2021 releases to check out

Speaker 1: (42:13)

Always a pleasant surprise to just stumble upon a good film in your number one spot, you have a Japanese film. That's screened at the San Diego Asian film festival called drive my car. The film looks to a Japanese man who is directing a stage version of uncle Vaya in which actors speak in different languages. A here's a scene from a rehearsal. What

Speaker 17: (42:36)

Do you think?

Speaker 18: (42:42)

I think the director should be the one to judge

Speaker 17: (42:47)

Terrible. He do.

Speaker 18: (42:52)

I agree with you. I feel like we both did better during the auditions. Hmm.

Speaker 17: (42:59)

Do you know why?

Speaker 18: (43:01)

Um, because I've learned a little bit of the dialogue. So I use my partner like my acting cues, but if I don't learn the dialogue, I can't act.

Speaker 17: (43:10)


Speaker 18: (43:11)

And I thought that this way I could, um, pay more attention to other people's emotions. If I learned the dialogue perfectly, including theirs, I can react better.

Speaker 17: (43:23)

I see why don't we read the book again and

Speaker 1: (43:29)

What made this your number one film?

Speaker 11: (43:32)

Soon as I saw this film, I knew it was gonna be on my top 10. It's a film like power of the dog has this confidence and assurance and its ability to tell a story through kind of misdirection where it's quiet. A lot of it is through dialogue and you have to pay attention to it, to kind of start piecing together this story of this man who is a overcoming loss. And I love films that leave a lot up to the viewer to piece everything together. They don't lead you by the nose and tell you how you're supposed to feel and tell you what's happening. You kind of have to pay attention. And this film is just beautifully executed and so confident in the story it's telling and you have to be patient, but by the end, the payoff and the emotional rewards are spectacular. All

Speaker 1: (44:24)

Right, well Beth, thanks for sharing your picks for the best films of 2021. You can find the full list of her favorites on her cinema junkie Thanks again, Beth. Thank

Speaker 11: (44:36)


Speaker 19: (44:42)


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One year ago today, insurrectionists swarmed the U.S. Capitol, shocking the nation, and leaving many wondering how robust our democracy really is. A new book from a local author looks at the conditions that lead to civil conflict in countries, and searches for answers to avoid them. Plus, instances of restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses temporarily closing their doors are becoming more common as the highly infectious omicron variant continues to spread at an unprecedented rate among the nation’s population. Then, KPBS Race and Equity reporter Cristina Kim says some local women are reclaiming double dutch as adults, and creating a healing space in the process. Also, a new study by Measure of America aims to provide a portrait of California by focusing less on economic measures and more on people’s well-being. And, a new show coming to KPBS TV will tell the stories of women and trailblazers of color in the winery, brewery and restaurant industries — it's called ‘Fresh Glass.’ Later, KPBS film critic Beth Accomando joins KPBS Midday Edition to look back on her top films pics for 2021.