Clearing the FOG with co-hosts Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese (news commentary)

The Presidential election in Honduras took place on November 24. Since the US was involved in the 2009 coup that removed President Manuel Zelaya, Hondurans have lived under a brutal regime in which political activists are harassed and murdered. This year, Zelaya’ wife, Xiomara Castro, ran as the new LIBRE party candidate. The official report is that she came in second, but widespread fraud and repression in the election makes this result questionable and there have been large protests to demand a recount. To discuss this, we will be joined by Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research who writes regularly about Latin America and Chuck Kauffman of the Alliance for Global Justice who was a member of a large delegation of election observers present for this election. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_82_Honduras.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 2:22pm EDT

On this week’s show, we hear firsthand about the conditions in Palestine from Ellen Davidson and Tarak Kauff. They and four other Veterans Peace Team members traveled in Palestine for three weeks in November to witness the conditions there and stand in solidarity with the people during their weekly protests. Kauff, who leads the Veterans for Peace Action Network, created the Veterans Peace Team after the Occupy Movement started in order to provide assistance to nonviolent protests. Peace Team members will stand between police and nonviolent protesters upon request. In addition to being a peace team member, Davidson who has traveled to Palestine before is a photographer and blogger. She chronicled the trip on StopTheseWars.org. Davidson and Kauff share what they learned and experienced on their trip. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__81_Palestine.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 6:02pm EDT

We spoke about the state of dissent in the United States with Bruce Levine, practicing psychologist who connects the dots between society, politics, culture and mental health. He is also a social commentator and author of Get Up, Stand Up as well as other books. Levine writes about the mental health profession’s increasing trend to treat healthy challenges to authority and a dysfunctional society as abnormal. Psychologists in the US also do not recognize alternative worldviews such as anarchism and so attempt to coerce youth into adopting what are considered to be cultural norms within a hierarchical framework. Levine also writes about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on the mental health profession and even the new DSM-V. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show80_Mental_Health.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:08pm EDT

We spoke with two cultural activists who use arts and culture to educate and empower people to take action in their communities. This follows our conversation last week in which author Rivera Sun described how her novels tell the story of social transformation and educate her readers about nonviolent resistance. Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign teaches “Artful Activism” in his community and facilitates direct action training camps throughout the nation. He lectures in nonviolent strategy and tactics. Moyers says, “Our role, as change makers, social movement activists, organizers, and cultural workers is to change the social/political/economic variables and expand the scope of what is politically possible in tune with our principles and aspirations. Simultaneously, we must make politically toxic the world view that we oppose, lessening its appeal, reducing its claim in the territory of the politically possible.” His area of expertise is “Spectacle Actions.” Mic Crenshaw uses Hip Hop to expand the public dialogue about race and class issues in both the United States and Africa. Crenshaw says, “The music is an expression of my creativity but ultimately serves as a tool for a critique on dominant culture that limits and defines the kind of choices folks even imagine under capitalism.” He teaches social justice in Portland, OR, is Executive Director of Education Without Borders, is Political Director of Hip Hop Congress and organizes primarily around housing. He also founded Globalfam to help youth in Africa and organizes the Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan. Visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for more information.

Direct download: CtF_Show__79_Arts_and_Activism.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT

We live in a time of transition. There is a greater understanding of the interconnections between living beings and the planet. And there is a greater understanding that the current way of life and political system do not function for the majority of people. A nonviolent culture of resistance is growing and alternative systems that are more peaceful, just and sustainable are being created. We explore this transition with Rivera Sun, author of the newly-released book The Dandelion Insurrection. Sun tells the story of building a nonviolent movement to overcome a plutocracy within a highly militarized state. Her novel is both inspiring and instructive. We then spoke with Stephanie Van Hook and Michael Nagler of the Metta Center for Nonviolence. They provide tools and training for nonviolent skills and coordinate the Shanti Sena Network of Peace Teams.

Direct download: CtF_Show_78_1_Building_Nonviolent_Culture_of_Resistance.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 5:48pm EDT

We spoke with Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK and author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Medea has been a relentless activist to stop the use of drones to terrorize communities and kill civilians. She traveled to Pakistan and Yemen to speak with the families of drone victims and recently attended the briefing in Congress in which family members told their stories. Medea exposed that funds for victims of drones are actually going to US-based NGOs. She is organizing the upcoming drone conference. We also spoke with Naureen Shah of Amnesty International about a new study on drone attacks in Pakistan and David Swanson of War Is a Crime about the legality of drone warfare and whether it should be banned. Visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for more information.

Direct download: CtF_Show_78_Drones.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 6:09pm EDT

We discuss the growing effort to stop the rigged corporate trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This deal affects every issue we care about from food safety to the cost of medicines to jobs and wages, protection of the environment, internet freedom and more. The TPP gives corporations more power to sue governments, even down to the local level, and to challenge court decisions if laws that protect workers, consumers and the environment interfere with profits. David Newby of the Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition and Ruth Caplan of the Alliance for Democracy will speak about communities that are passing resolutions to declare themselves “TPP Free Zones.” And Arthur Stamoulis of Citizens Trade Campaign will tell us about an international day of action on Dec. 3 and what else is being done to stop the TPP. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_76_TPP.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:01am EDT

In this program we speak about the newest phase of the health law, the Affordable Care Act. The health insurance exchanges are open and starting in January most people will be required to have health insurance or pay a penalty. There’s one problem: having health insurance in the United States does not mean that people will have access to or be able to afford the health care they need. Under the ACA, billions in public dollars are being spent to set up insurance markets, advertise them and sell their products. But, most people will only be able to afford, even with subsidies, the lowest tier insurances that require high payments up front before they cover care and that have very restricted networks of providers. The struggle for a real health care system, national Medicare for all, continues. Sergio Espana of the Maryland Health Care is a Human Right campaign and Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action talk about their work and what it will take to get real health care for everyone. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_75_Single_Payer.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:30am EDT

We discuss the situation at Fukushima nuclear power plant and the urgent crises that it faces after the disaster in 2011. In addition to the ongoing problem with contaminated water that is leaking into the Pacific Ocean, Japan plans to start removing damaged spent fuel rods next month. Nuclear experts warn that this must be done perfectly to avoid another release of massive amounts of radiation. Harvey Wasserman describes the process, what dangers we face and what needs to be done about it. For more information, see ClearingtheFOGRadio.org and to sign the petition calling for international intervention, visit PopularResistance.org. The petition will be hand delivered to the United Nations in November.

Direct download: CtF_Show__74_Fukushima.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:45pm EDT

Indigenous Nations all over the world have been occupied for centuries by settlers who push them off of their land and take resources without permission or respect for the land, water and air. After trying to use domestic and international approaches, including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to regain legal sovereignty and failing, Indigenous Nations are rising up. We speak with Clayton Thomas Muller, Sylvia Mcadam and SuZanne MoniQue Patels of Idle No More about the movement, steps they are taking to protect the Earth and the October 7 Day to Proclaim Sovereignty. Today is the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation, also known as the Indian's Magna Carta. For more information, see ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CTF_73_Indigenous_Sovereignty.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:46am EDT