Environmental Activism

Show Details for the week of June 12th, 2017

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Mike Dieterich on the lost economic opportunities caused by the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Joe Lauria on Hillary Clinton’s election loss, through her own words and the thoughts of some her closest aides.

More about this week’s guests:

1f51030Mike Dieterich is a LEED Accredited Professional, environmental scientist, award winning producer, and bestselling author. He has worked in the sustainability industry with local-small businesses to state agencies, federal groups, international companies and nonprofit organizations. He is the author of Renew & Sustain: A cutting edge approach to being socially responsible, environmentally conscious, and incredibly profitable for businesses, schools, and government.

457e3201287f2fc0c01a31887f28e325Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is author of the just-released book How I Lost By Hillary Clinton. Quote: “Without a shred of evidence Clinton claimed on Wednesday night that there were 1,000 Russian agents working with Trump to defeat her. She blamed, ‘The kinds of things that were in WikiLeaks — you laugh, but people were obsessing over this stuff. Obsessing over it.’ The kind of things that were in WikiLeaks were her own words, which she ought to read in my new book to understand why she really lost.” Vox reports: “Hillary Clinton blames everyone but herself for her 2016 loss.” From the book description: Clinton’s “own words, found in this book, tell the real story of how it happened. The title includes Clinton’s byline as she has unwittingly written the story of her own defeat in her speeches and her emails and those of her campaign staff. “At a time of widespread dissatisfaction with business-as-usual politics, the Democrats chose to field a quintessential insider. Her campaign dwelt little on policies, focusing overwhelmingly on the personality of her opponent. That this strategy was a failure is an understatement. Losing an election to someone with as little competence or support from his own party as Donald Trump marked an extraordinary fiasco. The refusal of the Democratic leadership to identify the real reasons for their defeat is not just a problem of history. If Democrats persevere with a politics that prioritizes well-off professionals rather than ordinary Americans, they will leave the field open to right-wing populism for many years to come. Drawing on the WikiLeaks releases of Clinton’s talks at Goldman Sachs and the emails of her campaign chief John Podesta, as well as key passages from her public speeches, How I Lost By Hillary Clinton also includes extensive commentary by award-winning journalist Joe Lauria, and a foreword by Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.”

Show Details for the week of September 5th, 2016

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it? An interview with Robyn O’Brien
  • Turkey’s invasion of Syria. An interview with Michael Beer

More about this week’s guests:

robynspeaking-300x165Robyn O’Brien is a former financial and food industry analyst. She has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by Bloomberg and the New York Times. She is the author of The Unhealthy Truth published in May 2009 by Random House, which reveals the alarming relationship between the manipulation of our food and both the increase in dangerous allergies in our children as well as the increase in cancers in our families—and offers a road map to healthy living.

From a conservative Texas family, Robyn earned an MBA on a full scholarship, graduating as the top woman in her class before going to work as a financial analyst that covered the food industry. For ten years, she has led a food awakening among consumers, corporations and political leaders. Armed with data and analytics, food companies now responding to Robyn’s work include Bloomberg, Compass Food Group, Kraft, Coca Cola, Burger King, Chipotle, Nestle, Target and others. She sheds light on how the changing landscape of food and health are impacting the food industry and our economy. You can follow her on Twitter here: @foodawakenings

Michael BeerMichael Beer has been the Executive Director of Nonviolence International since 1998. Michael is a global activist for human rights, minority rights and against war and casino capitalism.  He has trained activists in many countries, including Burma, Kosovo, Tibet, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, India, USA and Zimbabwe.  He is a frequent public speaker on nonviolence and has been broadcast on CSPAN, CNN,  and other major media. Michael is the co-parent of two children along with his life partner, Latanja.s the director of Nonviolence International.

Quote: “Turkey has invaded Syria without the support of the Assad government nor the United Nations nor the Arab League. This is another damaging blow to international laws meant to prevent war. Given hundreds of years of Turkish/Ottoman dominion over Arabs, this Turkish invasion is unlikely to gain much support in Syria or the Arab world. The timing is remarkable just as the vice president of the U.S. arrived in Turkey. The U.S. cooperated, in part, because the U.S. already has troops in Syria in violation of international law and the U.S. constitution and has no credible platform to protest. International protest has been slow to emerge: No attempt to bring this to the UN; the media refusing to label this an invasion/violation of international law. European governments support it, and the Iranians refuse to release a public statement. We are seeing more and more countries follow the U.S. and Russia’s example of using military force outside of international law. This is a dangerous direction for the future security of planet earth.”

Show Details for the week of August 8th, 2016

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Deconstructing environmental party politics with Dahr Jamail
  • Bernie Sanders supporters going Green with YahNe Ndgo

More about this week’s guests:

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Dahr Jamail is a journalist who is best known as one of the few unembedded journalists to report extensively from Iraq during the 2003 Iraq invasion. He spent eight months in Iraq, between 2003 to 2005, and presented his stories on his website Dahr Jamail’s Mideast Dispatches

He has appeared on The Monitor with Mark Bebawi several times in the past, including live unembedded reports from Iraq at the height of the US invasion. Since his return he has written two books – “The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan,” (Haymarket Books, 2009), and “Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq,” (Haymarket Books, 2007).

More recently Dahr has been covering environmental topics. You can read his latest articles on his website. The interview will focus on the policies of the various parties on climate change.

dv-xlagoYahNe Ndgo describes herself as “Bernie Lover, Ubuntu Promoter, Singer, Writer, Activist, Traveler, Mother, Sister, Auntie, Daughter, Granddaughter, Cousin, Friend, Neighbor, Lover, Human Being” and gained significant attention when a CNN interview she gave went “viral”: YahNe Ndgo explains Bernie or Bust/Never Hillary

She was one of the keynote speakers at the Green Party’s convention in Houston and I interviewed her for Pacifica’s live coverage of that event. I asked her about the Sanders campaign, his supporters’ potential for voting Green, and what motivates her political activities.

Show Details for the week of August 1st, 2016

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On The Monitor this week:

  • The DNC from the inside, and the outside, with Lenny Siegel
  • The Freak out over Brexit in the context of Interventions and Austerity, with Robin Hahnel

More about this week’s guests:

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Image Credit: Mountain View Voice

Lenny Siegel is a member of the Mountain View (CA) City Council and was a Bernie Sanders delegate at the Democratic National Convention. Siegel was a leader of the anti-war student movement at Stanford University from 1966 to 1975. He founded Mountain View Voices for Peace for both Iraq Wars. Since 1989, he’s become a national leader in the effort to clean up contaminated military bases. He ran for office three times before eventually winning. His term expires in 2019.

Quote: “The highlight of the evening for me came when former CIA Director Leon Panetta spoke. Other than honoring veterans, few speakers at the convention have addressed foreign policy. But Panetta was assigned to defend the Obama-Clinton policies of regime change and the war on terror, two terms they don’t use because they were associated with George W. Bush. To be honest, given what happened, I don’t remember exactly what he said, other than claiming credit for killing Osama bin Laden. I sat there quietly and sadly, holding up a hand-made sign I got from the fellow sitting next to me. It read, ‘End the drone wars.’ Democrats are quick to criticize Republican wars, but most are reluctant to challenge Democratic Commanders in Chief. I am not looking forward to four or eight more years of endless war. To my surprise, across the hall the Oregon delegation started chanting ‘No more war!’ Or maybe it was ‘wars.’ Our larger group quickly echoed them. I couldn’t tell if other delegates joined in. Before long, the masters of the house dimmed the lights shining on the Oregon delegation. We shouted ‘Lights, Lights …’ The Oregonians pulled out their smartphones and turned on their flashlight apps. It looked like a cosmic constellation. We shone ours, and I believe others were shining elsewhere in the arena.”

robin_hahnelRobin Hahnel is professor emeritus at the American University. He is best known as a radical economist and co-creator of a post-capitalist economic model known as “participatory economics.” His ten books include The Political Economy of Participatory Economics (Princeton University Press). He just wrote the piece “Brexit: Establishment Freak Out,” which states: “It is comical to watch the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic panic over short-run economic damage due to market ‘over reaction,’ because any danger of this is due to their own negligence. Only because the establishment has hitched our economic destinies to the whims of financial markets is there any need to worry that Brexit might trigger yet another global meltdown. Only because the establishment failed to implement prudent, financial regulation in the seven years since the last financial crisis crashed the global economy is there any danger today. Only because the Cameron government and the European Commission responded to the Great Recession with counterproductive fiscal austerity is a return to deeper recession in Europe quite probable. But we can be sure of one thing: All negative economic trends will now be blamed on Brexit and the populist ‘mob’ who brought it on, rather than on the establishment’s neoliberal policies which are actually responsible.” You can follow him on Twitter here: @RobinHahnel and you can read more examples of his work here:

Economic Growth, Climate Change, and Capitalism

Brexit: Establishment Freak Out

‘Told You So’ Is Bitter Sweet

Capitalist Cheating

An Open Letter to the Climate Justice Movement

Read more…

Show Details for the week of March 21st, 2016

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Flint Water Crisis: What Did the EPA Know? We discuss the crisis with Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
  • Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the AIPAC agenda, what’s the difference? We discuss the issue with Rabbi Brant Rosen

More about this week’s guests:

9114030Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is author of No Fear: A Whistleblower’s Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. As senior policy analyst for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, she became a whistleblower when the EPA ignored her complaints about a U.S. company harming the environment and human health in its vanadium mining in South Africa. Denied promotion, she sued and won a jury verdict finding EPA guilty of discrimination. Coleman-Adebayo is a founder of the No FEAR Coalition and EPA Employees Against Racism. Under her leadership No FEAR organized a grassroots campaign that won passage of the “Notification of Federal Employees Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Act,” AKA the No Fear Act. Coleman-Adebayo serves on the board of directors of the National Whistleblower Center and was inducted into the Project on Government Oversight’s Hall of Fame. She is an editor and columnist for the Black Agenda Report. She recently wrote the following articles for The Guardian: Flint’s best hope for justice? The streets and Water crises like Flint’s will continue until the EPA is held accountable (co-written with )

Websitewww.marshacoleman-adebayo.com

Quote from her recent article on BlackAgendaReport.com: “EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder are scheduled to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday, March 17, to provide testimony on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water. Public outcry has finally empowered Congress to demand that McCarthy and Snyder provide an accounting of their role in the poisoning of thousands of citizens. The essential question for this hearing is the same as that of the Watergate Hearing: what did they know and when did they know it? EPA electronic traffic between the former Region 5 Administrator and McCarthy must be subpoenaed. McCarthy and Snyder had perhaps hoped that the public would be silenced with sending former EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman careening under the bus. The ultimate authority for water regulations rests with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act. In fact, the CWA provides for criminal penalties for violations of this Act. Flint, Michigan falls within the federal jurisdiction of Region 5 and, until her resignation in February in disgrace, was under EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. …EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was aware that there were problems with Hedman’s leadership prior to the Flint crisis. …This is a sickeningly familiar story at the EPA, an agency governed by fear, recrimination, retaliation and discrimination. It is likely that EPA Administrator McCarthy will argue that the Flint disaster was the result of ‘a few bad apples’ and that with Administrator Hedman’s resignation the problem has been addressed. Nothing could be further from the truth. The EPA is rife with managers who have been allowed to engage in criminal behavior without fear of accountability. Far from dealing with root causes, McCarthy stands on protocol over the well being of her own employees. She will always side with her in-house group of managers who are in bed with their corporate masters — this is one of the lessons of the Flint poisoning crisis.”

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hqdefaultRabbi Brant Rosen is the co-chair of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinic Council. The group recently put out a statement, “Trump’s Islamophobic Rhetoric Goes Hand in Hand with AIPAC’s Agenda,” which states: “Many of the most alarming statements and policy proposals Donald Trump has made are already reality in Israel, and supported by AIPAC. Israel already refuses to open its doors to Syrian refugees (many of whom are of Palestinian origin), allows privileged immigration status for one religious group over others, is building highly militarized walls … and allows a demagogue leader to get away with using blatant racism to get votes.” Also see: “On Israeli election day, Netanyahu warns of Arabs voting ‘in droves.’

Rosen is the Midwest Regional Director of the American Friends Service Committee. In August 2015, he founded Tzedek Chicago, a new ‘non-Zionist’ synagogue in Chicago. Rosen previously served as the rabbi of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois from 1998 to 2014. He is a former president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. In 2009, he co-founded the Jewish Fast for Gaza, or Ta’anit Tzedek with Rabbi Brian Walt. Rosen is also an active environmentalist. Under his leadership, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation built their new building with an environmentally sustainable design in 2008, becoming the first house of worship to ever receive a Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. He was the recipient of Chicago Magazine’s Green Award for his environmental leadership in 2009. Rosen’s blog Shalom Rav explores “the intersection between Judaism and social justice, with a particular emphasis on Israel/Palestine.” In 2012, Just World Books published his book, “Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity,” which featured his posts and numerous reader comments from Shalom Rav. Rosen is also the author of the blog Yedid Nefesh, where he posts his poetry and thoughts on Judaism and spirituality. He has contributed to The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Forward, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and other media outlets.

Website: http://rabbibrant.com/

Show Details for the week of March 9th, 2015

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On The Monitor this week – The Climate: What is at stake? Can humans survive? We will be exploring these questions with David Ray Griffin.

More about this week’s guest:

David Ray Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University (1973-2004); Co-Director, Center for Process Studies. He edited the SUNY Series in Constructive Postmodern Thought (1987-2004), which published 31 volumes. He has written 28 books, edited 13 books, and authored 248 articles and chapters. His most recent book is Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis?

This book combines (1) the most extensive treatment of the causes and phenomena of climate change in combination with (2) an extensive treatment of social obstacles and challenges (fossil-fuel funded denialism, media failure,political failure, and moral, religious, and economic challenges), (3) the most extensive treatment of the needed transition from fossil-fuel energy to clean energy, and (4) the most extensive treatment of mobilization. It provides the most complete, most up-to-date treatment of the various kinds of clean energy, and how they could combine to provide 70% clean energy by 2035 and 100% before 2050 (both U.S. and worldwide).

“If you can read only one book on climate change, make it this one…clear and comprehensive…a masterful depiction of the severe dangers and our best available escape routes. If reading this book does not change your life, nothing will.” — Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur/Reporter

Show Details for the week of September 22nd, 2014

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Behind Obama’s Immigration Policy – an interview with David Bacon
  • The case for a ban on fracking – an interview with Hugh MacMillan

More about this week’s guests:

David Bacon

David  Bacon is author of The Right to Stay Home and three other books on immigration. He is a labor and immigrant rights activist, and part of the Dignity Campaign. He is an Award-winning photojournalist and author and has spent twenty years as a labor organizer. For the last two decades he has been a reporter, documentary photographer, and longtime radio host. He appears often on KPFA Radio. His previous books included The Children of NAFTA, Communities Without Borders, and Illegal People. He has been an associate editor at Pacific News Service and has written for TruthOut, The Nation, The Progressive, The American Prospect and The San Francisco Chronicle. As an immigrant rights activist, Bacon helped organize the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights and the Labor Immigrant Organizers Network.

Quote:

“President Obama’s decision to delay lifting the threat of deportation from many people is a retreat that will result in more deportations, detentions and firings of people who need equality, legal status and human rights. In the name of protecting Democrats in the midterm election, his decision will instead hurt those families who have been some of his greatest supporters. It does nothing to move forward to solve the problems of migration. More people will come to the U.S. tomorrow, driven by poverty and repression, made worse by our pro-corporate trade agreements and foreign intervention. Beefing up enforcement simply criminalizes them, while the continuation of pro-business guest worker programs provides a blatant subsidy for corporations who want to keep wages down and unions weak. We need pro-immigrant and pro-worker immigration reform, not more delays, draconian enforcement and corporate labor schemes.”

You can follow him on twitter here

Hugh MacMillan

Hugh MacMillan is a senior researcher in the water program at Food & Water Watch. Prior to joining Food & Water Watch, he served one year as a legislative fellow and science advisor in the U.S. Senate and five years as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Clemson University. He has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Last week was the People’s Climate March in New York and Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter published an article titled “To Save the Climate, We Need a Ban on Fracking” saying “Fracking affects not only the millions living within a mile of fracking sites who experience health problems, polluted water, earthquakes, explosions and declined property values, but it also affects billions globally who are affected by climate change.” The article goes on to say that “Despite what the oil and gas industry claim, there have now been over 150 studies on fracking and its impacts that raise concerns about the risks and dangers of fracking and highlight how little we know about its long-term effects on health and our limited freshwater supplies. It’s time for President Obama and other decision makers to look at the facts. It’s a matter of our survival.”

He is also the main author of The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking which states in part that the environmental, public health and socioeconomic impacts that stem from fracking amount to unacceptable risk, and that the harms are certain.

Show Details for the week of February 10th, 2014

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On the show this week:

  • The organized fight back against NSA surveillance starts in earnest. We talk with Michael Boldin is the executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center
  • Is the Keystone XL pipeline deal nearly here? What did the EPA know and when? We talk with David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International

More about this week’s guests:

Michael Boldin is the executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center. Michael has a full schedule working as senior editor of the Center’s website, writes a regular column, fields media interviews, and travels the country (when invited, of course) to speak to crowds about sticking to the Constitution – every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.

While media and activists alike seemingly want to pigeonhole him into a political category, his viewpoints and positions defy the standard categories and political parties. As he often says in his speeches, “I’m no conservative, and I’m no liberal. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. And I’m not a green or a libertarian, or a socialist or an anarchist. I’m not even an independent. All I am is me. And all I want is to live free.” Michael lives in the belly of the beast in Los Angeles, California.

Quote: “It has been more than three decades since Sen. Frank Church warned that the NSA could enable ‘total tyranny.’ After so many years of hoping that the NSA would limit itself, people across the political spectrum are energized by the idea that there is another option. By introducing and passing 4th Amendment Protection Acts in states around the country, we have an opportunity to box the NSA in and defend the Tenth Amendment whether Congress wants to or not.”

Background: A wide array of groups are organizing “The Day We Fight Back” against NSA surveillance on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Revelations of NSA spying continue, as the Guardian reports, the German press is reporting the “NSA tapped German ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s phone … after opposition to military action in Iraq in 2002.” Groups from the left and right are joining together in many states to “Turn It Off” — offnow.org — urging local governments to cut off the electricity to NSA facilities.

The Los Angeles Times reports in the article “Arizona legislator pushes bill to combat NSA surveillance” that: “So far, 12 states — from California to Mississippi — have introduced similar bills to make it more difficult for the agency to do surveillance in the United States, according to the Tenth Amendment Center, which provides model legislation to resist NSA surveillance.”
The Examiner reported last month in “NSA scandal: Washington State considers cutting off electricity, water for NSA” that: “According to officials at the Tenth Amendment Center, Washington became first state with a physical NSA location to consider the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which was written and proposed specifically to make life extremely difficult for the powerful and super-secret spy agency.

“In a bipartisan move, State Rep. David Taylor (R-Moxee) and State Rep. Luis Moscoso (D- Mountlake Terrace) introduced HB2272 based on model language drafted by the OffNow coalition, it would make it the policy of Washington “to refuse material support, participation, or assistance to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, or order which purports to authorize, the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant.”

David Turnbull is the Campaigns Director of Oil Change International, working on both domestic and international campaigns to end fossil fuel subsidies, and to slow the spread of dirty energy money and fossil fuel infrastructure from tar sands and fracking. Prior to his current position with Oil Change, David was Executive Director of Climate Action Network – International from 2008 to early 2012.

At CAN-International, he worked to coordinate the Network of 700 hundred NGOs in dozens of countries to develop and advocate for global solutions to the climate crisis. Earlier, David was Communications Director of the US Climate Action Network, where he coordinated joint communications efforts for US NGOs focused on climate change. Before joining CAN, David worked at the World Resources Institute as a Coordinator for a pair of international networks working to promote inclusive and accountable environmental governance. In a previous incarnation, David spent time on a mountaintop observing the “world’s worst weather” and conducting climate research at the Mount Washington Weather Observatory in New Hampshire. Follow him on Twitter:@david_turnbull

Oil Change International has put out a series of blog posts on the Keystone XL pipeline including “What did Big Oil know and when did they know it?” which states that “Gerard was apparently briefed by ‘sources within the administration‘ on the timing and content of the report. Before the environmental community. Before Congress. Before anyone else.” The group states that the oil industry has had this “corrupt process … rigged since the word go. Today, Oil Change International also posted a piece titled “KXL ‘Contractor Controversy’ About to ‘Get Heated,'” which states: “When the State Department’s long-awaited Final Environmental Impact Statement into the controversial Keystone XL pipeline was published last week,  the report argued that KXL would not significantly add to global warming. It therefore supposedly passed the test that Obama outlined in a speech last summer when he said he would only approve the pipeline if it did not ‘significantly exacerbate’ the problem of climate change.

However, as Oil Change International pointed out last week, the report conceded that the emissions could be ‘1.3 to 27.4 MMTCO2e annually,’ which is equivalent to as many as 5.7 million new cars. And it does not take a climate scientist to tell you that 5.7 million new cars is clearly a significant increase in carbon emissions. But there is another deep flaw with the report that is yet to be resolved and could be KXL’s ultimate undoing. Its analysis was contracted out to ERM [Environmental Resources Management], a British contractor with links to the oil industry. When publishing its long list of documents last Friday, the State Department had to suffer the ignominy of also publishing a whole set concerning ERM’s apparent conflicts of interest.

As Bloomberg reported last Friday, the scrutiny about ERM ‘is about to get heated.’ The controversy kicked off in July last year, when environmental groups accused ERM of “lying” about its ties to TransCanada, the company building the pipeline.”

Show Details for the week of December 9th, 2013

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On this week’s show:

  • Corporate espionage – taking a leaf out of the NSA’s book? An interview with Gary Ruskin
  • Remembering Nelson Mandela before his legacy is appropriated. An interview with Bill Fletcher

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More about this week’s guests:

Gary Ruskin is director of the Center for Corporate Policy.  During the 2012 election cycle, he was campaign manager of Proposition 37, for labeling of genetically engineered food in the state of California. For fourteen years, he directed the Congressional Accountability Project, which opposed corruption in the U. S. Congress. For nine years, he was executive director and co-founder of Commercial Alert, which opposed the commercialization of every nook and cranny of our lives and culture. He has often been quoted in major newspapers across the country and has appeared scores of times on TV news programs on all the networks. He received his undergraduate degree in religion from Carleton College, and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Our main discussion on the show is about a report, titled Spooky Business, which Gary says “documents how corporations hire shady investigative firms staffed with former employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), US military, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Secret Service and local police departments to target nonprofit organizations.”

Quote: “Giant corporations are employing highly unethical or illegal tools of espionage against nonprofit organizations with near impunity. Our report documents how corporations hire shady investigative firms staffed with former employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, U.S. military, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Secret Service and local police departments to target nonprofit organizations. Many of the world’s largest corporations and their trade associations — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, McDonald’s, Shell, BP, BAE, Sasol, Brown & Williamson and E.ON — have been linked to espionage or planned espionage against nonprofit organizations, activists and whistleblowers. Many different types of nonprofit organizations have been targeted with corporate espionage, including environmental, anti-war, public interest, consumer, food safety, pesticide reform, nursing home reform, gun control, social justice, animal rights and arms control groups. Corporations and their trade associations have been linked to a wide variety of espionage tactics against nonprofit organizations. The most prevalent tactic appears to be infiltration by posing as a volunteer or journalist, to obtain information from a nonprofit. But corporations have been linked to many other human, physical and electronic espionage tactics against nonprofits. Many of these tactics are either highly unethical or illegal.”

Bill Fletcher Jr has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO. Fletcher is the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941″; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of “Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice“; and the author of “‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty other myths about unions.” Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio and the Web.

He just wrote: “Nelson Mandela will be mourned and celebrated. But something else will happen. There will soon, probably very soon, be efforts to reinterpret his life. I do not mean leaving things out, as happened in the otherwise excellent film just released about his life. Rather, as we have experienced here in the USA with great leaders like King and Malcolm, there will be efforts to convert Mandela into a very safe character in order to advance the ends of the global elite. We will, for instance, not hear much about Mandela’s refusal to renounce armed struggle against apartheid, even  though such a renunciation could have resulted in his release much earlier. We will not hear much about his expressions of gratitude to the Cuban people for their consistent support to the people of Angola, Namibia and South Africa who were fighting the South African apartheid regime. We will not hear about Mandela’s consistent, unwavering support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation.”

Show Details for the week of October 7th, 2013

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KPFT is in Pledge Drive and The Monitor has three shows during the drive. Our goal this week is $1200. Please help us get there by calling 713-526-5738 or going online at www.kpft.org during the show.

Since it is pledge drive, we have a specific thank you gift for your pledge of $120 – The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London by James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello.

We have just one guest this week – James Marriott is an artist, naturalist, activist and co-author of aforementioned The Oil Road and The Next Gulf: London, Washington and the Oil Conflict in Nigeria. He works for Platform, a London-based arts, human rights and environmental justice organization (www.platformlondon.org).

Some reviews for the book:

★★★★★…The Oil Road opens the lid on the often-shady energy economy, weaving absorbing travel reportage into powerful investigative journalism…. If you want to know why oil matters, read this book.” – Time Out (book of the week)

“An elegantly written travel book…will make you think the next time you fill the tank.” – Financial Times

“Beautifully written as well as formidably well-informed…A pleasure to read” –  Neal Ascherson, author of Black Sea

“As global powers scramble for the last of the world’s diminishing resources, comes this book – well researched and written with empathy, integrity and imagination. It is timely and much needed.” – Ahdaf Soueif, author of The Map of Love.

Please do call during the show and pick up a copy of this great book – 713-526-5738 !!!