Clearing the FOG with co-hosts Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese

As the failings of the capitalist economy become more evident, people recognize that there are alternatives. The cooperative economy though largely hidden is growing and is outperforming the capitalist economy when it comes to job and economic stability. The cooperative economy places capital in service of jobs instead of the other way around. To discuss this in more depth we spoke with Janelle Cornwell, lead author of a new book called Building Cooperative Power! Stories and Strategies from Worker Co-Operatives in the Connecticut River Valley, and Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo who has extensive experience studying and creating cooperatives. For more information, v isit www.ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_103_Coops.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT

We take a look at the disturbing trends in Michigan. Emergency Financial Managers are being appointed by the governor to run cities and school boards, particularly in black majority communities, in a dictatorial fashion. As our guest Tom Stephens writes,”The Emergency Financial Manager regime imposed on Detroit is ‘an entirely new and unprecedented form of antidemocratic local government directly controlled by the corporate agents of ‘the 1%’ that is designed to steal everything: land, water, air, lives, and every right not associated with capital.” The first Emergency Financial Managers were appointed to run cities in 2000, but a significant change occurred in 2011 with the passage of Public Act 4, the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act. This state law gave EFM’s unprecedented power to “exercise any power or authority of any officer, employee, department, board, commission or other similar entity of the local government whether elected or appointed.” Our guests will discuss how the EFM’s are dismantling cities to pave the way for privatization and gentrification and what people in those cities are doing to fight back. For more information, visit www.ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_102_Michigan.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 1:40pm EDT

Clearing the FOG on Trade Agreements that Promote Fracking in US with Shilpa Joshi and Mitch Jones

A sister trade agreement to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated in secret with the European Union. It’s called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership but is known as TAFTA. Last month, a leaked memo showed that negotiators are pushing for the US to produce more oil and gas through extreme measures such as fracking and export it to the EU. Already the US is making preparations. In Maryland, the Governor is pushing to build a liquefied methane gas terminal at Cove Point for export. A coalition of groups that includes environmentalists, Native Americans and other residents is fighting the terminal at Cove Point. We speak with Shilpa Joshi of Chesapeake Climate Action Network about the Cove Point terminal and with Mitch Jones of Food and Water watch about TAFTA. For more information, visit www.ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__101_Energy_and_TAFTA.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 3:03pm EDT

In this time of oligarchy and corruption, it is necessary for democracy that people who serve in the government step forward and tell the truth. However, the Obama administration through its attacks on whistleblowers and use of the Espionage Act more times than all other presidents combined has intimidated workers from speaking out. In the past two weeks, new tools and organizations were launched to assist and support whistleblowers. We speak with Matthew Hoh of ExposeFacts.org on the urgent need for whistleblowers and Sarah Harrison of the new Courage Foundation on her work to support Edward Snowden and the future Snowdens. For more information, visit www.ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_100_Whistleblowers.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 3:32pm EDT

Now that it has been proven that we live in a plutocracy, what are we going to do about it? PopularResistance.org is joining with the Backbone Campaign to launch the Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy. The first step is a week of actions across the country from July 5 to 12.  Bill Moyer from Backbone Campaign joins us to speak about the campaign and what we hope to achieve. In the second half of the show, we speak with Jessica Lee of Peaceful Uprising who is an organizer of the permanent protest set up in PR Springs, UT to stop the land from being mined for tar sands. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__99_Rolling_Rebellion_and_Tar_Sands.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 2:52pm EDT

Unions in the US which were a driving force for social change in the early 20th century have been in decline for decades. Recently however union and non-union workers have been fighting for better working conditions and wages and the right to organize. Steve Early has been present for the past 40 years of labor’s struggles. His new book is titled “Save Our Unions: Dispatches from a Movement in Distress.” He joins us to talk about the current state of labor. We also speak with Traven Leyshon of the Vermont AFL CIO, Vermont Workers Center and Vermont Progressive Party. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_98_Unions.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:07am EDT

This month, economic democracy conferences were held in both Jackson, MS and Baltimore, MD. The conferences focused on the structural causes of poverty, the failures of the current economic system and new systems that can be put in place to build wealth in communities. Th Baltimore conference, which we helped to organize, focused on building cooperatives, complementary currencies and alternative finance, participatory budgeting, land trusts, renewable energy and food security. Our guest Dorcas Gilmore attended both conferences and the other guest Lasana Mack is working on new systems in African-American communities of Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__97_New_Economy.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT

We discuss the FCC’s plan to eliminate net neutrality on May 15. FCC chair Tom Wheeler will be deciding on new rules regarding the internet that will allow those who have wealth to have faster service and will leave the rest of us behind with internet service that ranks us between 35th and 40th in the world. The internet will become a pay-to-play entity rather than being treated as a public good – something to which all people should have the same standard of access. We will discuss the upcoming decision at length and what people are doing to stop it. And we will discuss the growing movement to municipalize internet service. For more information, v isit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_96_Net_Neutrality.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

The focus of today’s show is President Obama’s trip to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines to build support for escalation of the US’ military presence and for the TransPacific Partnership (TPP). We are joined by Bernadette Ellorin of BAYAN USA which helped to coordinate protests to US military and economic domination in the region. Protests occurred in the US and in each of the countries that Obama visited. We also discussed a new letter urging Obama to take meaningful action to end nuclear weapons, the launch of our new campaign to clean up abandoned uranium mines, the attack on internet neutrality and recent studies which document that the US is a plutocracy. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__95_Asia_Pivot.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:03am EDT

We spoke with Martin Kirk and Anuradha Mittal about the World Bank's "Doing Business" ranking which encourages countries to lower protections for workers, public health and the environment in order to attract businesses. It allows businesses to move factories and capital to countries with the lowest standards and fuels the race to the bottom. Of particular concern is the rising number of acres being sold to Big Ag which is displacing millions and destroying local food protection. The Rules and Oakland Institute are partnering in a new campaign, "Our Land Our Business" to end land grabs. They seek one million signatures by October. Visit OurLandOurBusiness.org to learn more and take action. Visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for more information about the program.

Direct download: CtF_Show_93_World_Bank.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57pm EDT

We speak with two guests who are working to transform their cities into places that support their populations rather than exploiting them and pushing them to the edges. Andy Shallal, artist, activist and owner of the Bus Boys and Poets bookstore restaurants is running for mayor in Washington, DC. He advocates for policies that bring greater community engagement and empower communities through education, employment support and affordable housing. Dean John H. Morris, Jr is head of the Department of Urban Planning and Community Development at Sojourner-Douglass College in Baltimore, MD. He is working with the local community to recreate local neighborhoods so they are places that build and sustain homeownership and local businesses through a grass roots democratized economy. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_92_Urban_Transformation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am EDT

We talk about the efforts in Vermont to create a new economy which includes a public bank that is designed to serve the needs of the public and protects public dollars from the risks of too big to fail banks with Gwendolyn Hallsmith, the new Executive Director of the Public Banking Institute. We also speak with Ellen Brown who has written numerous books and articles on public and postal banking and the big banks. This topic is especially timely given the huge bubble that is inflating on Wall Street at the same time that the world's biggest economies are scaling back and there are numerous financial crises. Learn how to protect yourself and your community from the next crash. For more information, visithttp://www.ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_91_Public_Banks.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:44pm EDT

The newest study published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows that press freedom in the US is disappearing. The US fell 13 places to number 46 in the world, largely due to mass surveillance and aggressive attacks on whistleblowers and journalists. Delphine Halgand of RSF joins us to speak about the new report. Then Josh Stearns of Free Press who has written about specific attacks on journalists in the US tells us about the newest challenges to press freedom in the US and what we need to do to end them. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_89_Free_Press.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 5:38pm EDT

On February 11, thousands of websites will display messages to expose and oppose the national security state in “The Day We Fight Back Against the NSA.” The day was chosen to remember Aaron Swartz who took his life one year ago and the massive day of online action that stopped SOPA and PIPA. Swartz was a pioneer at a very young age in developing systems to share information and demanding that people should have access to information, especially data that was created using public dollars. To get the facts behind the extent of the security state and what people are doing to fight back against it, our guests are Andrew Krieg, author of “Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and their Masters,” and Evan Greer of Fight for the Future. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org

Direct download: CtF_Show_88_NSA.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 5:17pm EDT

In his State of the Union Speech, President Obama said, “Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by; let alone to get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.” Obama was forced to mention wealth inequality because the real disparity that has caused rising poverty and hunger, but his overall message was still one of “if you work hard enough, you can get ahead,” rather than an honest focus on the structural causes of the wealth divide and how to reduce it. To have this conversation, we’ve invited Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report and labor economist Jack Rasmus. We look at the state of the wealth divide, its causes and its remedies. For more information, see ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_87_Wealth_Inequality.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

We discussed the conference about Syria that is taking place in Montreux, Switzerland. Although the stated goal is peace, the structure of the talks is designed around removal of Assad from power. We will discuss the politics behind the war in Syria with Ajamu Baraka. Baraka writes of the peace talks, “Its main purpose was always to affect their main strategic objective – the removal of President Bashir al-Assad from power and the disappearance of Syria as an independent state.” Baraka calls them “war talks” and states that they are laying the groundwork for an attack on Syria. Alli McCracken of CODEPINK joins us to speak about her recent trip to Geneva with a delegation of women to press for the inclusion of women in the talks. Visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for more information.

Direct download: CtF_Show_86_Syria.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:36pm EDT

We continue our discussion of building a trans-formative social movement in the United States. On our last program, we looked back at the social movement over the past few years and analyzed it based on the Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements. On this program, speak about the tasks ahead to build consensus and an engaged movement of people pushing for peace, justice and a sustainable way of living. Our guest is David Solnit. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__85_David_Solnit.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:30pm EDT

We spoke with Ken Butigan about the stages of social transformation, where the US fits in and what the tasks are during this stage. You may be surprised to find out how close we are. Butigan is director of Pace e Bene, a nonprofit organization fostering nonviolent change through education, community and action. He also teaches peace studies at DePaul University and Loyola University in Chicago. He has been involved in numerous ‘people powered’ movements for thirty years. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__84_Movement_Mapping.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 4:51pm EDT

We spoke with James Quilligan, who is presently Managing Director of the Centre for Global Negotiations and Chairman for the Secretariat of Global Commons Trust, which develops innovative means of restoring value—beyond business and government—through people’s social, cultural, intellectual, genetic and natural resource commons. He wrote an in-depth series of articles for Kosmos Journal about the transformation from what he calls the Market State to a Commons-based Economy. In the Market State, all resources, goods and services are monetized and privatized so that they are controlled by a few and kept away from some of the public, and the economy is based on debt. In the Commons-Based Economy, the commons which also includes genes, culture and knowledge, the economy is based on credit and on a trust that manages the resources in a way that is sustainable and regenerative. People have more control over the economy as well. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__83_Commons_Trust.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT

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

We began a two-part series on the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations. This week we spoke with Charmaine White Face, Zumila Wobaga, who participated in the process to develop the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Charmaine recently published a book titled “Indigenous Nations’ Rights in the Balance” in which she describes the difficult process of achieving recognition of rights agreed upon by the majority of indigenous peoples and how the process of creating the declaration was full of obstacles. She analyzes the text of the final declaration and what it means for indigenous nations. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_72_Indigenous_Rights.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:42am EDT

Two years ago hundreds of people began to occupy Zuccotti Park in New York City in the heart of Wall Street. That occupation, Occupy Wall Street (OWS), exploded into hundreds of occupations around the country within a matter of weeks. We'll speak to three people who were part of OWS. Laura Gottesdiener who recently published" A Dream Foreclosed" will speak about Occupy Our Homes. Goldi Guerra will speak about the ongoing Occupy Sandy efforts including organizing for long term recovery in the affected areas. And Justin Wedes will announce a new financial service for the unbanked and underbanked, the Occupy Money cooperative. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CTF_71_OWS_Anniversary.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 12:48pm EDT

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers broadcast from Colorado where they spoke at the “What Does Democracy Look Like? Conference.” The conference was sponsored by the It’s Our Economy chapter in Denver and included a number of groups who are working on issues of food security, housing and alternative currencies. We spoke about the widespread opposition to an attack on Syria by the US including a broad spectrum of the public, members of Congress, the military and intelligence analysts. And we closed with an update on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the campaign to demand democracy and transparency in trade negotiation. For more information, see ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CTF_Show__70_Democracy_Syria_TP.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:13pm EDT

Economist Jim Sauber who serves as Chief of Staff to the President of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) joins us to explain the attack on the USPS, the reasons for the sale of local post offices, what communities are doing to save the postal service and the vision to expand the services provided at local post offices to include voting, finances and a US Postal Savings Bank to finance infrastructure programs and create jobs. For more information, visit www.ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_68_Post_Office.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

David Bollier, co-author of The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State, talks about the Commons, which can be almost anything as long as there is public action and governance around it. Bollier explains the myth of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ which is widely taught as truth . We talk about the benefits of reclaiming public space and institutions and the growing sharing economy. For more information, visit www.ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__67_THe_Commons.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:48am EDT

The artificial inflation of the housing market, predatory lending practices and fraudulent behavior by Big Finance which created the collapse of the housing market and epidemic of evictions, calls into question whether housing is a commodity that should be subject to the whims of the market or a human right that is not commodified. We explore ways that people are creating permanently affordable housing in their communities and taking on the Big Banks to hold them accountable, prevent foreclosure and strengthen their local economies. Our guests are Michael Carlson, former director of the Madison Area Community Land Trust and now the maintenance director for the Madison Cooperative Community, and Nancie Koerber of Project REconomy in Oregon. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_65_Affordable_Housing.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:11pm EDT

Jacqui Dunne, co-author of “Rethinking Money : How New Currencies Turn Scarcity into Prosperity,” joins us for the hour to discuss the concept of money, why the current dominant monetary system is failing and new systems that are being created to solve problems such as the need for credit and to support localism. Thousands of complementary currencies and monetary systems are in existence. The WIR system in Switzerland has been around for almost 80 years. Dunne describes how unmet needs and unused resources can be connected through complementary currency systems that reflect the values of a community and encourage positive human interactions. A diverse, flexible and resilient monetary system is developing around the world. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: Rethinking_Money_with_Jacqui_Dunne.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 1:32pm EDT

We spoke about the current trade agreement, the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), being negotiated by the White House, and its more than 600 corporate advisers, and countries in the Pacific Rim. Rather than a trade agreement, the TPP is a backdoor for corporations to receive laws to their benefit that would not pass in the open. Coalitions of groups from around the Continent and around the world are working together to stop the TPP and offer in its place a trade policy based on justice, fairness and sustainability. We speak with Kristen Beifus, executive director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition and Richard McIntyre, professor of economics at the University of Rhode Island and US Trade Representative for the Green Shadow Cabinet. For more information, see ClearingtheFOGRadio.org

Direct download: CtF_Show__63_Trade.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 12:59pm EDT

On International Human Rights Day we look at the right to education. Tyler Paige is one of 11 students occupying a building at Cooper Union demanding that the college continue to offer free education. Students, faculty and alumni are united in this effort which is part of the global movement for the right to education. You can follow them onhttp://www.cusos.org/ and http://www.facebook.com/FreeCooperUni.... Lynn Petrovich, CPA and author of "Sticker Shock," exposes the fraudulent practices of Sallie Mae and other corporate student lenders. And Danny Weil, author of over 7 books who also writes on http://truth-out.org/http://www.dailycensored.com/ and other outlets exposes the financialization of education, the monetization of students, the collusion between government and corporations, Obama's neo-liberal education agenda and what we can do about it. 

Direct download: CtF_Show_39_Predatory_Student_Loans.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:03am EDT

We explore restrictions on the rights of people to assemble and express dissent in the United States. The First Amendment gives us the right to peaceably assemble and redress our government for our grievances. Instead of protecting that right, the government, local police and private companies are acting to prevent and stop actions of dissent. The First Amendment also gives the right to freedom of the press, but today’s press are mouthpieces for the corporate state. What is being done to preserve our rights? We speak with Kevin Gosztola who has been covering this issue for FireDogLake as the Dissenter,  and Tarak Kauff, a veteran arrested at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial last Oct for protesting the war in Afghanistan. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_62_Dissent_in_the_US.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:45am EDT

We interview John Curl, author of "For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements and Communalism in America." John discusses the efforts to create real democracy in the US pre-dating the Revolution and obstacles to their success as well as the way these efforts have paralleled social transformation. His book results from a lifetime of research and experience in cooperatives. See our follow-up article: Cooperatives and Community Work are Part of American DNA.

Direct download: CtF_Show_41_John_Curl.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 5:58pm EDT

We explore the extent of surveillance by the United States. Why is there so much surveillance and is the increasing surveillance of people in the United States justified? We discuss which is more harmful to our society, leaks or the policies that are leaked. Our first guest is Thomas Drake who was prosecuted for allegedly disclosing National Security Agency secrets years before Edward Snowden surfaced. Drake says the U.S. government has an “industrial-scale” surveillance system that “the Stasi in East Germany would have drooled over.” Then Fred Branfman, who recently wrote “America’s Most Anti-Democratic Institution: How the Imperial Presidency Threatens U.S. National Security,” is our guest. He argues,  ”And today’s U.S. executive branch policies pose an even greater long-term threat to U.S. strategic interests, not only abroad but at home. The evidence is overwhelming, including the statements by several dozen U.S. national security experts cited at the end of my recent piece, that U.S. leaders are not protecting national security but rather weakening it as never before.”

Direct download: CtF_Show__61_NSA_Spying_and_Myth_of_National_Security.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

Gar Alperovitz, author of “America Beyond Capitalism” and “What Then Must We Do: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution” speaks about the growing economic democracy movement in the US and how that is bringing evolutionary reconstruction to transition to the new economy.

Direct download: CtF_Show__60_Transition_to_New_Economy.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

Don Yellowman of the Forgotten Navajo People and Charmaine White Face of the Great Sioux Nation describe the effects of abandoned uranium mines on tribal land. Uranium mining by private corporations for purchase by the US Atomic Energy Commission started in earnest after WWII. The miners, many of them Indians, and their families were not protected and they were not informed of the hazards of radiation exposure. Thousands of open mines now sit on land in the Navajo and Great Sioux Nations. They continue to poison the water, land and air causing devastating health effects such as respiratory illnesses, cancers and birth defects. Although the Church Rock uranium spill released a much higher amount of radiation in 1979 than the accident  at Three Mile Island, it received little attention and resources. White Face also describes the radiation released in the Great Sioux Nation from the 2,885 uranium mines as four times greater than the radiation released by Fukushima. However, no member of Congress is willing to sponsor legislation to study the ongoing radiation release and clean it up. The radiation released from these pits do not respect borders and affect all of us. It is a secret that we are not supposed to know about. Learn more in this episode of Clearing the FOG. And visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for links to articles and websites.

Direct download: CTF_5.27.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:46am EDT

We discussed what the big banks are doing to rip off homeowners in honor of the JusticetoJustice week of actions in DC organized by the Home Defender’s League. Anti-foreclosure activists are in Washington, DC this week to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder hold the big banks accountable for fraudulent foreclosures. The banks use a variety of tools to profit from illegal foreclosures that displace millions of people each year from their homes even when they can make their mortgage payments. Our guests were Steve Bailey, an anti-foreclosure activist in Denver, CO,  David Petrovich of the NJ Society for the Preservation of Continued Homeownership and author of Fighting Foreclosure. We were also joined by Debra Castilo and Kevin Whelan of the Home Defender’s League. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org

Direct download: CtF_Show_58_Fraudulent_Foreclosures.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

On May 25, protests against Monsanto will take place all over the world. Ronnie Cummins of Organic Consumers Association which runs the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign and Patty Lovera of Food and Water Watch tell us about Monsanto’s long history in the chemical business, poisoning and polluting our communities and Monsanto’s mission to own access to our food through ownership of seeds and use of genetically engineered seeds which contaminate organic seeds. Adam Eidinger of Occupy Monsanto tells us about the May 25 International Day of Protest against Monsanto. Visit Occupy Monsanto to find a protest near you or to plan one. Visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for more information and resources related to this podcast.

Direct download: CtF_Show_57_Monsanto.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:25am EDT

We explore racism inside governmental and nongovernmental institutions and how their policies affect minority communities. Co-host is Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, EPA whistleblower and director of the Government Transparency and Accountability in the Green Shadow Cabinet. Lawrence Lucas is President of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and advocates on behalf of black farmers. Norris McDonald was the first black environmentalist and is president of the African American Environmentalist Association. Rue is an environmental activist who organizes with the community of Manchester in Houston, TX. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.  

Direct download: CtF_Show__56_Racism_and_Policy.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 6:43pm EDT

Today we focus on using local currencies and economies to opt out of Wall Street and build resilient and sustainable communities. Alternative currencies are founded on principles that value all types of work, reciprocity, interconnection and building community. Our guests are Jeff Dicken of Baltimore Green Currency, Paul Glover who started Ithaca Hours and Edgar Cahn, author of “No More Throw Away People.” For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_55_Alternative_Economies.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 9:43am EDT

Today we mark International Mother Earth Day with the announcement of the new alternative government in the US, the Green Shadow Cabinet. The Cabinet was appointed by the Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala campaign for President and Vice President. They ran on the Green Party ticket and on a platform of the Green New Deal. Kevin Zeese serves as US Attorney General and Margaret Flowers serves as Secretary of Health. Joining us for the announcement to to discuss the urgent need to create an alternative political structure that serves people and the planet are Vice President Cheri Honkala, Political Ecology Advisor to the President Christopher Cox and Climate Change Advisor to the President Sean Sweeney. Cox and Sweeney spoke about what they would advise the President to do and the new green economy. To learn more about the alternative government which has so far brought together more than 80 prominent scientists, lawyers, health professionals, economists, labor leaders and advocates, visit GreenShadowCabinet.us. Visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for video and articles.

Direct download: CtF_Show_54_Earth_Day.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 3:53pm EDT

This week we discuss the use of drones for surveillance and warfare around the world, but particularly in Pakistan. April is a month of actions in the US to protest the use of drones. It culminates with a weekend conference and action in Syracuse, NY, home of Fort Hancock Air Force Base where drones are piloted. There is growing resistance in both the US and globally. Our guests are Noor Mir, a citizen of Pakistan and graduate of Vassar who is focusing her research on targeted killings and works with Code Pink, and Judy Bello of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars and other peace organizations who traveled to Pakistan to meet with families who are affected by drones. Medea Benjamin, author of "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control," was scheduled to be on the show but had to cancel at the last moment. We included an interview with her by Robert Brune. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__53_Drones.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 3:03pm EDT

Bill Black, associate professor of economics and law and leading investigator of financial fraud, discusses the rampant fraud and corruption in the financial system, the misguided response to the financial crisis by the government and solutions that would bring greater accountability and stability to the economy. Then Ellen Brown, chair and president of the Public Banking Institute, joins us to talk about the new Cypriot model of seizing depositor’s funds to bail out banks, whether that could happen in the US and the advantages of public banking. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_52_Banking_new.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

King Downing joins Clearing the FOG for the full hour to discuss the criminal justice system, from police encounters with citizens through mass incarceration. Jean Casella of Solitary Watch joins the program to discuss the extreme form of incarceration, solitary confinement, which is very common in the Untied States, Anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 people are held in solitary confinement on any given day in the US. Downing and Zeese discuss the Stop and Frisk program in New York which is a form of racial profiling.  There is a trial challenging the practice currently underway. Last week, two police officers described how they were ordered to target young black men ages 14 to 21. We also discuss police encounters that have resulted in the killings of young black men by undercover police.  We end the show discussing the 166 people remaining at Guantanamo Bay, 86 of whom have been cleared for release three years ago but remain incarcerated.  At least two dozen inmates at the prison are in the seventh week of a hunger strike to protest prison conditions. Witness Against Torture is holding emergency actions this week in solidarity with the Guantanamo prisoners. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_51_Racism_and_Incarceration.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:27am EDT

In this episode we expose the TransPacific Partnership, an agreement that has been negotiated in secret over the past 3 years by the Obama Administration. Our guests are Arthur Stamoulis of Citizen’s Trade Campaign and Ben Beachy of Global Trade Watch from Public Citizen. The US is using the TPP to bully smaller Pacific Rim nations into accepting an agreement that goes beyond trade to put provisions in place that give transnational corporations greater power than sovereign nations. It creates a path to go around regulations that have been put in place to protect the environment, labor rights, consumer rights, internet privacy and economic stability. The Obama Administration is hinting that it will push for Fast Track, now referred to as Trade Promotion Authority, in Congress which would subvert a democratic process to review and pass the TPP. There are numerous opportunities to expose and oppose the TPP and prevent it from becoming law. Visit FlushtheTPP.org. Visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for more information.

Direct download: CtF_Show_50_TPP_vs_Democracy.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT

The US is the only wealthy nation in which people go bankrupt because of illness and medical costs. More than 62% of personal bankruptcies are due to medical debt and nearly 80% of those who went bankrupt had health insurance. But people are working to change that. Thomas Gokey is a member of Strike Debt Rolling Jubilee that is raising funds to erase debt. More than that, they provide tools so that people can understand how debt works in their communities and how to resist it. Dr. Steffie Woolhandler is a co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program and is author of several leading studies on medical bankruptcy. She explains why medical debt occurs, the impact of medical costs on health and how the national health law will affect medical debt and bankruptcy. She advocates for a national single payer health program. See ClearingtheFOGRadio.org for more information.

Direct download: CtF_Show_49_Medical_Debt.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 1:44pm EDT

Dr. Tony Ingraffea, the foremost engineering authority on fractures, and biologist/author Sandra Steingraber bust the industry myths around the hydrofracking of natural gas. Dr. Ingraffea states that the risks are not acceptable and lists a number of problems that can occur from water and air pollution to worsening climate change. Steingraber, who founded the growing New Yorkers Against Fracking and helped to delay fracking in New York, explains the health risks. A mother of two, she states that fracking and climate change constitute the most serious risks to children’s health. Find out what you can do to stop it. For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show__48_Ingraffea_Steingraber_Fracking.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

Following the most recent nuclear weapon test by North Korea, US media has mainly focused on giving the impression that North Korea is a nuclear threat. In this show, we place the events in North Korea in context of the long history of US interference there, the ongoing Korean War and the current US objective to circle China with military bases. We are joined by Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space and Elliott Adams of Veterans for Peace. Both are veterans who are dedicating their lives to organize and take action for peace. We also discuss the new US Naval Base on Jeju Island in South Korea which is being protested by the inhabitants of the island and the Obama Administration’s investment in nuclear weapons. We scratched the surface of these important topics and will provide resources so that our audience can get more information that is not being presented.

Direct download: CtF_Show_47_Korea_Nukes_Asia.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:37am EDT

Anne Petermann of the Global Justice Ecology Project discusses the recent climate conference in Doha, Qatar which is characterized more as a trade show for corporations looking to profit from climate change than a conference about solutions, and the increasing exclusion of non-corporate voices. She says solutions to the climate crisis are coming from the bottom up.   Ramsey Sprague of the Tar Sands Blockade describes the growing resistance to the Keystone XL Pipeline and the upcoming direct action training camp and action Jan. 3 to 8. Co-hosts Margaret and Kevin will participate in that action and urge you to support it or participate as well. And ecology activist Diane Wilson who is on her 19th day of a hunger strike describes why she is risking her life to hold Valero Oil accountable to her community.

Direct download: CtF_Show_40_Climate_Resistance.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:37pm EDT

Last week, we spoke about ‘managed democracy’ in the US. In this show, we bust the myths about the democracy movement in Venezuela. The US media routinely misreports on Venezuela because its success threatens US Empire. Mike Fox, a journalist and documentarian, has covered the rise of participatory democracy in Venezuela and other Latin American countries over the past ten years. Following the election of Hugo Chavez, the people of Venezuela rewrote the Constitution granting rights to education, health care, land for growing food and more. They have worked to build new institutions to meet their needs and are creating a democratic structure of governance through community councils. The results are that they have the lowest index of inequality in all of South America and are ranked fifth in the world in happiness. We then speak with Maria Hadden of the Participatory Budgeting Project in the US. Participatory budgeting gives decision-making power over public funds to the people. In the US, it started in Chicago and is growing coast to coast.

Direct download: CtF_Show_46_Mike_Fox_Maria_Hadden.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:09pm EDT

Chris Hedges, author of “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt,” speaks about "Managed Democracy" in the US, or what he calls “political theater.” He also discusses “Inverted Totalitarianism,” a term first used by Sheldon Wolin who wrote “Democracy, Inc.” Hedges describes the “Sacrifice Zones” that he visited as he wrote his most recent book, "Day of Destruction, Days of Revolt." Hedges writes a weekly column for Truthdig. We then speak with Cliff DuRand, author of “Recreating Democracy in a Globalized State.” DuRand explains capitalism as a Monopoly game that always ends up with gross inequality and collapse of the game. He also explains our current political environment as a "polyarchy" that suppresses real democracy in order to maintain control. DuRand’s writing can be found at the Global Justice Center (globaljusticecenter.org). For more information, visit ClearingtheFOGRadio.org.

Direct download: Chris_Hedges_and_Cliff_DuRand_on_Democracy.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 4:38pm EDT

While corporate media talks about the deficit and cutting Social Security and Medicare, we turn the argument for cuts on its head. We focus on growing poverty among seniors and popular solutions. Instead of cutting social insurances, our guests call for expanding and improving them. Steven Hill (Steven-Hill.com) wrote in The Atlantic that Social Security is the most stable pension plan in today's economy and that there are ways to double Social Security benefits. This would bring more seniors to a comfortable level of retirement and would stabilize our economy through increased spending. Dr. Andy Coates, the current president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP.org), discusses improving and expanding Medicare to everyone as a way to address both the health care and economic crises.

Direct download: CtF_Show_44_Austerity_Steven_Hill_and_Andy_Coates.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and President Obama's second inauguration, we speak with Cheri Honkala of the Poor Peoples Economic and Human Rights Campaign and Robert Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute at U Mass-Amherst about Dr. King's Poor Peoples Campaign, the current state of the economy, the direction the economy is expected to go during Obama's second term and what people are doing to shift the economy and meet human needs. We listen to excerpts from Dr. King's speech before the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA in August, 1967 called "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community." VisitClearingtheFOGRadio.org

Direct download: CtF_show_43_MLK_Poverty.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

Clearing the FOG with Ray McGovern and Bill Blum on Obama’s Second Term, his Appointments and US Empire

Ray McGovern and Bill Blum discuss President Obama’s second term and his appointments to Secretaries of State and Defense and head of the CIA in the broader context of US foreign policy and imperialism. We speak about John Brennan’s involvement in extraordinary rendition, torture and drone attacks as well as the weekly Tuesday ‘Kill List” that he presents to President Obama. We speak about the influence of the military-industrial complex on US expansion into Asia and Africa and the influence of AIPAC on policies on the Middle East. See http://clearingthefogradio.org/ray-mc... for more information including links to the guests articles and essays.

Direct download: CtF_Show_42_Obama.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 3:08pm EDT