The ruling FOG (Forces of Greed) spin news stories in their favor and keep the masses distracted with celebrity gossip and reality shows. Each week on Clearing The Fog, we feature guests who are working to expose the truth and offer real solutions to the current crises faced by our nation and the world. Knowledge is power, and with this knowledge you will be empowered to act to shift power to the people and weaken the corporate stranglehold on our lives. Our podcast is brought to you each week without advertising.

Get your Clearing the FOG Gear  (water bottle and bumper sticker not pictured) here:

Clearing the FOG is part of the Popular Resistance Podcast Network, a network of progressive podcasters providing independent political analysis.

New to podcasting? Read our FAQ.

Subscribe to Clearing The FOG using one of these popular services. fog-itunes fog-mixcloud SoundCloud Stitcher

Oahu Water Protectors Demand Navy Stop Poisoning Their Community

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

A World War II Era underground storage tank containing over 100 million gallons of jet fuel at the Red Hill Fuel Facility has been leaking into the aquifer that provides water to the people of Oahu. Until recently, the Navy denied there were leaks or that the water was unsafe despite multiple complaints of health problems and an oil sheen found in the tap water. Now, the Oahu Water Protectors have gained the Navy’s attention and that of local and state elected officials. Wayne Tanaka of the Sierra Club of Hawaii speaks with Clearing the FOG about the fuel facility, what is at stake and how they are organizing to hold the US Navy accountable and shut the facility down. He also discusses the bigger picture of the environmental destruction caused by the US Military and its occupation of Hawai’i.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Wayne Tanaka became the Director for the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi in October of 2021. Wayne has committed his adult life to protecting Hawaiʻi’s diverse environment and the unique culture that grows along with it.

Wayne came to the Club after serving for a decade in the Public Policy Program at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. His passion for native ecosystems and community-based resource management also led him to serve on the Board of Directors of the Conservation Council for Hawaiʻi, and on the founding board of the then-newly minted Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo.  He has also authored and co-authored book chapters and essays on konohiki fishing rights, Papahānaumokuākea, nearshore fisheries management, indigenous food sovereignty, and the intersection of race and politics in Hawaiʻi, among other topics.

He is a licensed attorney and an engineer. He is a graduate of University of Hawaiʻi’s William S. Richardson School of Law, Harvey Mudd College, and Punahou School.

Wayne grew up on Oʻahu, exploring the tide pools of Wāwāmalu, the streams of Kāne‘ohe and He‘eia, and the ridgelines of the Koʻolau mountain range. He enjoys fishing and cooking what he catches.

Read More

More Than Ever, Food Not Bombs Needs To Become A Reality

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

Food Not Bombs was founded in 1980 to provide direct aid to people while educating about the perversion of spending so much on the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) while tens of millions of people do not have the basic necessities. It has turned into a global movement to build food sovereignty and organize systems outside the establishment. Clearing the FOG speaks with Keith McHenry, the co-founder of Food Not Bombs, about the criminalization of homelessness, their recent legal victory in Florida and why we must be concerned about increasing homelessness in the United States and the overall direction the country is going. McHenry speaks about his family ties to the founding of the military and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the violence he and others have experienced because of their activism.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Keith McHenry is an artist, activist and author who co-founded Food Not Bombs in Boston with seven friends in 1980. He enjoyed his childhood living at the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Shenandoah and several other National Parks. Keith studied painting at Boston University and started a graphic design company called Brushfire Graphics.

He has recovered, cooked and shared food with the hungry with Food Not Bombs for over 37 years. Keith was arrested “for making a political statement” by sharing vegan meals in San Francisco, spent a total two years in jail and faced 25 years to life in prison. He has written three books including “Hungry for Peace – How you can help end poverty and war with Food Not Bombs.” and “The Anarchist Cookbook.”

Keith lives in Santa Cruz, California. He enjoys tending his garden, sharing meals with the hungry, maintaining one of the movement’s websites and helping coordinate logistics for Food Not Bombs globally. He is an experienced public speaker giving presentations at colleges and conferences all over the world. Keith also draws, paints, and writes about social justice issues. Rco-founded Food Not Bombs in Boston with seven friends in 1980. He enjoyed his childhood living at the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Shenandoah and several other National Parks. Keith studied painting at Boston University and started a graphic design company called Brushfire Graphics.

He has recovered, cooked and shared food with the hungry with Food Not Bombs for over 37 years. Keith was arrested “for making a political statement” by sharing vegan meals in San Francisco, spent a total two years in jail and faced 25 years to life in prison. He has written three books including “Hungry for Peace – How you can help end poverty and war with Food Not Bombs.” and “The Anarchist Cookbook.”

Keith lives in Santa Cruz, California. He enjoys tending his garden, sharing meals with the hungry, maintaining one of the movement’s websites and helping coordinate logistics for Food Not Bombs globally. He is an experienced public speaker giving presentations at colleges and conferences all over the world. Keith also draws, paints, and writes about social justice issues. Read more about him here.

Read More

Occupy Biden Demonstrates How To Hold Politicians Accountable

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

During the 2020 presidential campaigns, it was common for people who planned to vote for Joe Biden to say that they recognized he was a corporate-friendly candidate but that we just needed to elect him and then he could be pressured to act in the interests of the people. Well, unlike the marches after President Trump was elected, that mass pressure on Biden has not materialized. Now, a coalition of smaller climate justice groups (not the Big Greens) has just completed a weeklong occupation of land close to the President’s home with two demands: that he declare a climate emergency and that he stop any new fossil fuel projects. Clearing the FOG speaks with one of the organizers, Karen Igou, about the action and next steps in the campaign to pressure Biden. Igou also speaks about actions we need to be taking outside of the political arena to address the climate crisis.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Karen Igou

Read More

Richard Wolff: US Capitalism Has Peaked And Is On The Way Down’

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

For the end of the year, Clearing the FOG speaks with economist Richard Wolff about the current state of United States capitalism. Wolff explains that the United States is experiencing the greatest crisis in its history – a severe economic crisis at the same time as a pandemic, as well as the climate crisis. This is unprecedented. Unlike the great depression in the last century, when the wealth divide shrank, inequality is worsening. On top of that, US empire is in decline. Wolff discusses the current state of inflation and supply chain disruption and the forces behind them. Instead of facing up to these realities and learning from the experiences of other countries, such as China, and even our own past, the ruling class is in denial and continues on the same path that created the current situation. Wolff talks about what we need to focus on going forward.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. He is the founder of Democracy at Work and the host of Economic Update,

He taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973). In 1994, he was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Paris (France), I (Sorbonne). Wolff was also regular lecturer at the Brecht Forum in New York City.

For more information, visit Democracy at Work.

Read More

New Program Is Secretly Privatizing Medicare

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

 And Threatening Our Healthcare System.

A new program is placing Medicare recipients into private health insurance plans without their knowledge or consent in a final effort to fully privatize our national Medicare system. Known as “Direct Contract Entities (DCEs),” this program is putting more of our healthcare system into the hands of private equity to generate enormous profits at the expense of our health. Clearing the FOG speaks about this with Kay Tillow, a long time health care, civil rights and union activist. Tillow explains what these entities are, why they threaten the future of our entire healthcare system and how they block our ability to achieve a national, universal and publicly-financed healthcare system such as national improved Medicare for All. She describes the fight to stop DCEs and win single payer health care.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Kay Tillow

Read More

The United States Is Using Nazis In Ukraine To Provoke War With Russia

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

If you listen to the corporate media in the United States, you may believe the lies that say Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine. In reality, it is the United States, led by then vice president Joe Biden, that conducted a coup to replace the elected president of Ukraine in 2014 and has been training and arming Nazis to attack the ethnically Russian Donbass Region in eastern Ukraine ever since. There is daily violence against civilians and basic infrastructure. The Biden administration is escalating this aggression and trying to blame Russia with the support of the same corporate media that defended US attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria. To clear the fog on this misinformation campaign, Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space speaks about what is actually happening in Ukraine, the role of the US and the growing risk of war with Russia.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.  He was a co-founder of the Global Network when it was created in 1992.

Between 1983–1998 Bruce was the State Coordinator of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice and has worked on space issues for over 35 years.  In 1987 he organized the largest peace protest in Florida history when over 5,000 people marched on Cape Canaveral in opposition to the first flight test of the Trident II nuclear missile.

He was the organizer of the Cancel Cassini Campaign (NASA launched 72 pounds of plutonium into space in 1997) that drew enormous support and media coverage around the world and was featured on the TV program 60 Minutes.

Bruce has traveled to and spoken in England, Germany, Mexico, Canada, France, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Japan, Australia, Scotland, Wales, Greece, India, Brazil, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Nepal and throughout the U.S.

He has also spoken on many college campuses including: Loyola University, Drake University, Syracuse University, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Cal Poly State University, University of Pittsburgh, California Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, University of Alaska Anchorage, Marquette University, Brown University, Hunter College, University of Arkansas, University of Florida, Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia), University of Maine, and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (India).

Project Censored (from Sonoma State University, CA) named a story on space weaponization by Bruce as the 8th Most Censored story in 1999.  Again in 2005, Project Censored picked an article on space issues by Bruce as the 16th most censored story of the year.

Bruce has been featured by artist Robert Shetterly in his collection of portraits and quotes entitled Americans Who Tell The Truth.  In 2006 he was the recipient of the Dr. Benjamin Spock Peacemaker Award.

Bruce initiated the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home in 2009 that spread to other New England states and beyond.  This campaign makes the important connections between endless war spending and fiscal crisis throughout the U.S.  In 2011 the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a Bring Our War $$ Home resolution – their first entry into foreign policy since the Vietnam War.

His articles have appeared in publications like: Earth Island JournalNational Catholic ReporterAsia TimesLe Monde DiplomatiqueAlbuquerque JournalSekai Journal (Japan), CounterPunchSpace NewsZ Magazine, and Canadian Dimension.  Bruce published a new version of his book in 2008 called Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire.

Bruce also has a blog called Organizing Notes.

In 2003 Bruce co-produced a popular documentary video entitled Arsenal of Hypocrisy that spelled out U.S. plans for space domination.  Another of his videos, shot in 2009, was entitled Review of Obama’s Foreign Policy.  Both videos have been widely shown on Free Speech TV.  In 2010 Bruce was extensively featured in the award-winning documentary called Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space.  In 2013 Bruce was featured in the documentary video called Ghosts of Jeju about the South Korean island fighting against construction of a Navy base.  He has worked to help build support for the Jeju Island issue for several years.

He is also host of a public access TV show called This Issue that currently runs in 17 Maine communities.  (This show can also be seen from the GN’s website.)

In 1968 Bruce was Vice-chair of the Okaloosa County (Florida) Young Republican Club while working on the Nixon campaign for president.

Bruce is a Vietnam-era veteran and began his organizing career by working for the United Farm Workers Union in Florida organizing fruit pickers.  Bruce is an active member of Veterans for Peace.

Read More

New Study Finds The US Military Is Spreading Disease Around The World

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

A new study out of York University in Toronto, Canada finds that the US military plays a large role in the spread of diseases globally, including past and present pandemics. Clearing the FOG speaks with one of the lead authors, K J Noh, an expert analyst on the geopolitics of the Asian-Pacific region and health, about the study. Important factors in the spread of disease are Status Agreements that the US military makes with local and national governments that exempt members of the military from being required to follow public health measures and a culture of impunity within the military that leads to members defying all public health restrictions, even those measures imposed by the military. Noh also explains how the weaponization of disease is causing harm to everyone and why the US establishment doesn’t want the public to know there are governments designed to serve their populations.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

K.J. Noh is a South Korean independent scholar based in the USA, journalist and educator, who specializes in the geopolitics of Asia and in issues of global security and health. Mr. Noh has reported extensively on great power competition, geostrategic messaging, and the media ecology and its effects on communities. Mr. Noh has also collaborated with various scholars on the geopolitics of global health, Indigenous health rights policy, structural violence, and medical care delivery under neoliberal capitalism.

Read More

The US Puts A Democratic Veneer On The Military Coup In Sudan

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

Since achieving independence in 1956, Sudan has had a number of military coup governments and popular revolutions that overthrew them. Most recently, the Sudanese people ousted the thirty year long dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir at the end of 2018 only to replace him with another military-led government and a civilian figure head. Clearing the FOG speaks with Ahmed Kaballo, a British-Sudanese journalist and producer who just released his two-part documentary called “Sudan’s Unfinished Revolution,” which you can find here and here. Kaballo describes the history of the struggle in Sudan, the dire situation facing Sudan right now and the powers behind the current government. He exposes the lies being told in the corporate media about the fight for democracy in Sudan.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Ahmed Kaballo is a British-based Sudanese journalist, producer and activist currently employed by Press TV.

Read More

US Sends Clear Message To African Nations As It Turns Its Back On Ethiopia

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

The corporate media in the United States is waging a misinformation campaign as part of the hybrid warfare being used to try to subjugate Ethiopia. Ajamu Baraka of the Black Alliance for Peace states there “is a coordinated effort to criminalize and delegitimize the Ethiopian state in order to cripple or balkanize it, maybe even to provide the political will for a direct military intervention.” For 27 years, the United States-backed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) ruled Ethiopia until it was overthrown by a popular movement in 2018. Ethiopians then elected their Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, who refuses to bend to pressure from the US. To clarify what is happening in Ethiopia and the fight to protect its people’s right to self-determination, Clearing the FOG speaks with Deacon Yoseph Tafari, the chairman of the Ethiopian American Civic Council.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Deacon Yoseph Tafari is the Chairman of the Ethiopian American Civic Council. Read more about his activism here.

Read More

As Nicaragua Resists Regime Change, The US Ramps Up Its Economic Warfare

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

The United States has tried to control the poor Central American country, Nicaragua, for more than 100 years. John Bolton designated Nicaragua as part of the “Troika of Tyranny” along with Cuba and Venezuela for daring to defend its sovereignty. Since the failed violent coup attempt in 2018, the US foreign policy establishment has focused on preventing President Daniel Ortega’s reelection using a variety of tactics. Ben Norton, associate editor of The Grayzone, who is based in Managua, describes those tactics, the complicity of corporate media and social media and how Nicaragua is working to protect its democratic institutions. Norton outlines the US playbook in Nicaragua, including what to expect after the election.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Ben Norton is assistant editor of the investigative journalism website The Grayzone.

He produces the political podcast and video show Moderate Rebels, which he also co-hosts with The Grayzone editor and founder Max Blumenthal.

Ben is also a contributor to the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).

He was previously a politics staff writer and reporter for Salon and AlterNet, as well as a producer and reporter for The Real News. He has freelanced for a variety of other publications, such as The Intercept.

Other articles and writings can be found at Ben’s blog. And here you can find a selection of his media appearances and interviews.

And Ben does some photography as part of his journalistic work. You can find his photojournalism at Flickr.

When not reporting on politics (which is honestly rather rare), Ben is also a musician and composer. Here you can find his music, in a variety of styles, including jazz, rock, classical, and electronic.

Read More

COP26 Will Showcase False Solutions That Protect Corporate Profits, Not The Planet

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

The COP 26 United Nations climate meeting is underway in Glasgow Scotland. Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent “Code Red” report that proves urgent action is critical, the world is looking at the corporate-dominated COP 26 to do what is necessary. Clearing the FOG speaks with Anne Petermann, executive director of the Global Justice Ecology Project, who says COP 26 is focused on ‘false solutions’ promoted by large corporations to protect their profits instead of the planet. Petermann describes a new publication, “Hoodwinked in the Hothouse,” that explains what these false solutions are and what is necessary, the real solutions. She also discusses what people can do to save the planet.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and Coordinator of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees. She became involved in environmental issues while in college, where she studied wildlife biology and fine art. On Columbus Day in 1992, Petermann was arrested for the first time at an action commemorating 500 years of genocide in the Americas.

She co-founded the Eastern North American Resource Center of the Native Forest Network in June 1993, acting as its Coordinator until 2003. In the summer of 1993 she participated in an expedition to James Bay, Quebec to document the Cree resistance to the plans of Hydro-Quebec to dam a series of rivers in Cree territory. (NFN played a key role in a Vermont campaign on the issue, including organizing an international day of action against Hydro-Quebec on their 50th anniversary in April 1994. These efforts contributed to Hydro-Quebec abandoning its plans to build new dams in Cree territory.)

Petermann also co-organized the First North American Temperate Forest Conference in November of 1993. This conference included over 500 forest activists from across North America as well as indigenous representatives from six nations. The conference was organized to build bridges between these communities of activists and encourage greater collaboration. Dr. David Suzuki and Winona LaDuke were the keynote speakers.

From 1994 to 1999, Petermann organized NFN’s annual Forest Activist Training Weeks in Vermont where dozens of activists were trained in skills ranging from working with the media to fundraising to orienteering.

In 1996-1997 Petermann coordinated NFN’s involvement in a statewide campaign to stop timber corporations Champion International and Boise Cascade from spraying toxic herbicides on their Vermont forest holdings. NFN’s participation in organizing direct actions and protests on the issue was instrumental in the state of Vermont passing a moratorium on the herbicide spraying in early 1997. Subsequent to this decision, Champion International and Boise Cascade both left the state and the moratorium became permanent.

In October 1999 Petermann co-organized actions at the ministerial meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Toronto, where she hung a 600 square foot banner against the FTAA on the Toronto Convention Center where the Ministers were meeting.

In January of 2000, Petermann was arrested at the NH Democratic Campaign headquarters of Al Gore during an action in support of the U’Wa people of Colombia whose land was under threat from Occidental Petroleum. The U’Wa had threatened mass suicide if Occidental drilled on their land. Al Gore’s father had served on the Board of Occidental Petroleum and Gore himself held large quantities of stock. This action was covered nationally and triggered other such actions across the country. Occidental did not drill on the U’Wa lands.

From May 2000 to May 2001 Anne won a scholarship from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund to take part in a year-long fundraising course called The Complete Fundraiser, held by the Institute for Conservation Leadership.

In June of 2000 Petermann helped launch the first campaign against genetically engineered trees with a press conference in Boston during protests countering the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual conference. The press conference was covered on the front page of the Washington Post.

In July 2001 Petermann co-organized the first ever protest against GE trees at an International Union of Forest Research Organizations “Tree Biotechnology” conference in Oregon. That same month she edited and co-wrote a major groundbreaking report on GE trees entitled, “From Native Forest to Franken-Trees, the Global Threat of Genetically Engineered Trees,” which was distributed to thousands of people.

In September of 2001 Petermann co-founded a new organization, Action for Social & Ecological Justice, which took over the role previously played by Native Forest Network Eastern North America, and which was founded in response to the broadening focus of the resource center to include more Latin American and social justice issues. She served as the organization’s Development Director, fundraising for the organization and producing its publications.

In September 2003, Petermann co-founded Global Justice Ecology Project. In November 2003, she participated in and documented the mobilization against the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Miami, which was brutally attacked by police. In 2004 she participated in and documented the protests at the Democratic National Convention in Boston and the Republican National Convention in New York City, as well as anti-war marches in Washington, DC. Her photo from a massive women’s march in DC was used for the cover of Z Magazine.

In January of 2004 Petermann co-founded the STOP GE Trees Campaign, helping pull together a meeting with numerous groups from across the country to take unified action to stop the commercialization of genetically engineered trees.

In April 2004 Petermann spoke on the dangers of GE trees at the UN Forum on Forests in Geneva, Switzerland. She has since spoken on GE trees at UN events including the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at locations around the world. In 2006 she helped organize an effort at the UN CBD Conference of the Parties in Curitiba, Brazil that won an historic decision on GE trees from the UN CBD that warned countries of the dangers of GE trees and urged them to use a precautionary approach. In 2008 at the CBD Conference in Bonn, that decision was strengthened after Petermann co-led a campaign that won support from every NGO and Indigenous Peoples’ Organization, plus the entire African delegation for a suspension of all plantings of genetically engineered trees.

In October 2004 Petermann traveled to Durban, South Africa where she co-founded The Durban Group for Climate Justice which denounces carbon trading as a false solution to global warming.

In 2004 Langelle and Petermann formed a partnership with the indigenous Mapuche group Konapewman in Temuco, Chile, to work jointly to stop the commercial development of GE trees in Chile.

Anne’s writing has been featured in Z Magazine, Earth Island Journal and Seedling, among numerous others. She has been interviewed for print, radio and television from the Le Monde, to The Washington Post to NPR stations in Maine, North Carolina and Georgia as well as hundreds of other media outlets.

She has also presented the dangers of GE trees at dozens of meetings, conferences and events across the US, including two industry conferences, the Landscapes, Genomics and Transgenic Conifers Conference at Duke University in November 2004 and the Sustainable Forest Management with Fast Growing Plantations conference which was sponsored by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, the US Forest Service and ArborGen in Charleston, SC in October 2006. She has also presented at meetings in Brazil organized by Brazilian networks including the MST (Landless Workers’ Movement) and Via Campesina.

In 2013 Petermann helped relaunch the Campaign to STOP GE Trees with a new steering committee consisting of leaders in the global forest protection, bioenergy, Indigenous rights and radical activism communities.

In 2000, Anne received the national Wild Nature award for environmental activist of the year.

In 2002, the Burlington, VT resource center was awarded the highest honor of the Green Mountain Fund for Popular Struggle.

Anne also sits on the Board of the Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series.

Read More

The US Will Break Any Laws To Protect The Elites: The Saab And Assange Cases

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

The United States government demonstrates repeatedly that it will do whatever it takes to protect the economic and political interests of the elites, even if it means total disregard for human rights and international law. Two cases that highlight this are the recent kidnapping and prosecution of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab and the attempts to extradite the Australian Wikileaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange. Clearing the FOG speaks with Roger Harris of Task Force on the Americas who travelled to Cabo Verde where Saab was detained and tortured for over a year before his rendition to Miami and with Joe Lauria, the editor of Consortium News, who has covered the case of Julian Assange extensively. Canadian economist Paul Tulloch provides some insight into the upcoming COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guests:

Roger Harris

Joe Lauria

Read More

‘Ten Year Plan’ Will Destroy The Postal Service; Why We Must Save It

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

The current US Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, and the head of the Board of Governors, Ron Bloom, launched a ten year plan that will slow mail service and raise prices. This is the final blow to defund and destroy the US Postal Service so it will be ripe for privatization. DeJoy and Bloom have financial stakes in this happening. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chuck Zlatkin, legislative and political director for the largest postal union local in the US about the plan and the devastating impact it will have on everyone who relies on the post office. Zlatkin also exposes the blatant corruption, explains how the Biden administration could save the postal service and critiques the new postal baking pilot. We have reached a point where we must act to save the postal service, or we are going to lose it.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Chuck Zlatkin is the Legislative and Political Director of the New York Metro Area Postal Union the largest postal union local in the United States. He served as the Executive Assistant to the President of the American Postal Workers Union, Mark Dimondstein in the union’s Washington headquarters. Zlatkin served as the editor of “The Union Mail.” He has been a union activist and a postal worker for 35 years.

Read More

Building The Movement To Shut Down AFRICOM And End US Imperialism

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

The US Out of Africa Network, which is coordinated by the Black Alliance for Peace, launched a month of action on October 1, the 13th anniversary of the launch of AFRICOM (the US’ Africa command) to educate the public about what AFRICOM is doing and to build the movement against US imperialism on the African continent. Clearing the FOG speaks with Tunde Osazua, who organizes the network, about the harm the US is doing on the continent such as the increase in violence and terrorist acts against the people as well as supporting coups and an economic war. What the US is doing in Africa is largely in violation of international law and it is creating a growing sentiment in opposition to the United States. AFRICOM is just one of eleven commands around the world that are run by the United States.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Tunde Osazua is a member of the Black Alliance for Peace’s Africa Team and the coordinator of the U.S. Out of Africa Network.

Read More

Chris Hedges: Occupy And Building Power Now To Confront Autocracy

By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. -

In his recent article, “America’s Fate: Oligarchy or Autocracy,” Chris Hedges writes that bankrupt liberals have sold out to the oligarchic class to try to prevent an autocracy from rising but that is actually creating the conditions for autocracy. Hedges speaks with Clearing the FOG about the lessons from the Occupy movement – he was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City and the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC in 2011 – and why we must build a militant movement now to confront and hold power accountable. He explains how power works, including the role of politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden in protecting the interests of the wealthy classes.

Listen here:

Review us on iTunes! Click here … Then click on “View in iTunes … Then click “Ratings and Reviews.”

Guest:

Chris Hedges, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was born on September 18, 1956 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He grew up in Schoharie, a rural farm town in upstate New York.  He was a scholarship student at The Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts, a pre-prep boarding school, and at the boarding school Loomis-Chaffee in Windsor, Connecticut.  He was the captain and MVP of the Loomis-Chaffee cross country team.  He also wrestled and ran track.  He founded an underground newspaper that was banned by the school authorities and saw him put on probation.

Hedges graduated from Colgate University with a BA in English Literature and went on to receive a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Harvard University.  During his time at Harvard he lived in the depressed community of Roxbury in Boston where he ran a small church.  He was also a member of The Greater Boston YMCA boxing team.  He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2009 from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California.

Hedges began work as a freelance journalist, writing for newspapers such as The Washington Post and covering the Falkland War from Buenos Aires for National Public Radio (NPR).  He covered the wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala from 1983 to 1988, working from 1984 to 1988 as The Central America Bureau Chief for The Dallas Morning News. 

In 1988 Hedges took a sabbatical to study Arabic.  He was appointed the Middle East Bureau Chief for The Dallas Morning News in 1989.  In one of his first stories for the paper he tracked down Robert Manning, the prime suspect in the 1985 bombing death in California of Alex Odeh, head of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Western office, in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.  Israel, until Hedges discovered Manning, said it had no knowledge of Manning’s whereabouts.  Manning, linked to the militant Jewish Defense League and allegedly behind several murders, was extradited to the United States in 1991 where he is serving a life sentence.

Daniel Berrigan told me that faith is the belief that the good draws to it the good. The Buddhists call this karma. But he said for us as Christians we did not know where it went. We trusted that it went somewhere. But we did not know where. We are called to do the good, or at least the good so far as we can determinate it, and then let it go.

Hedges was hired by The New York Times in 1990.  He covered the first Gulf War for the paper, where he refused to participate in the military pool system that restricted the movement and reporting of journalists.  He was arrested by the U.S. military and had his press credentials revoked, but continued to defy the military restrictions to report outside the pool system.  He entered Kuwait with the U.S. Marine Corps.  He was taken prisoner in Basra after the war by the Iraqi Republican Guard during the Shiite uprising.  He was freed after a week.  Hedges was appointed the paper’s Middle East Bureau Chief in 1991.  His reporting on the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein in the Kurdish-held parts of northern Iraq saw the Iraqi leader offer a bounty for anyone who killed him, along with other western journalists and aid workers in the region.  Several aid workers and journalists, including the German reporter Lissy Schmidt, were assassinated and others were severely wounded.

Hedges became the Balkan Bureau Chief for The New York Times in 1995 reporting from the besieged city of Sarajevo.  He later covered the war in Kosovo.  He and his photographer, Wade Goddard, were the first journalists to travel with armed units of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) at the inception of the insurgency mounted against the occupying Serbs.

During the academic year of 1998-1999 Hedges was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University where he studied classics.

After 9/11 Hedges was sent to Paris where he covered Al-Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East.  He was part of a team of reporters for The New York Times in 2002 that won a Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. That same year he won an Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism.

In 2003, shortly after the war in Iraq began, Hedges was asked to give the commencement address at Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois. He told the graduating class “…we are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige, power and security.” He went on to say that “this is a war of liberation in Iraq, but it is a war of liberation by Iraqis from American occupation.” As he spoke, several hundred members of the audience began jeering and booing. The crowd started to sing God Bless America.  His microphone was cut twice.  Two young men rushed the stage to try to prevent him from speaking and Hedges had to cut short his address.  He was escorted off campus by security officials before the diplomas were awarded. This event made national news and he became a lightning rod not only for right wing pundits and commentators, but also mainstream newspapers. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial which denounced his anti-war stance and the The New York Times issued a formal reprimand, forbidding Hedges to speak about the war.  The reprimand condemned his remarks as undermining the paper’s impartiality. Hedges resigned shortly thereafter.

From 2006 until 2020 he wrote a weekly column for the progressive web site Truthdig.  He and the entire editorial staff were fired in March 2020 after they went on strike to protest the publisher’s attempt to remove the Editor-in-Chief, Robert Scheer, and demand an end to a series of unfair labor practices and the right to form a union.

Hedges hosts the Emmy-Nominated RT America show On Contact.  He previously hosted the show Days of Revolt on TeleSur.

Hedges was ordained in 2014 as a Presbyterian minister to work in prison ministry.  The theologian James Cone preached at the ordination along with Cornel West.  The service was oriented towards the victims of mass incarceration.  The family and friends of many of the students Hedges taught in the college degree program offered by Rutgers University in New Jersey prisons attended the service.

He became vegan in 2014, writing that the “animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all worldwide transportation combined.”

Hedges has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto.  He has taught in the B.A. program run by Rutgers University for men and women in the New Jersey prisons system since 2013.  The Passage Theater in Trenton produced the play Caged in 2018 which Hedges helped his incarcerated students write about their struggles with poverty, police violence and mass incarceration.  The play was published by Haymarket Books in 2020.

Hedges is the author of twelve books that include the best seller, War is A Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), which is an examination of what war does to individuals and societies.  His other books include What Every Person Should Know About War (2003); Losing Moses on the Freeway: The Ten Commandments in America (2005); American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2007); another New York Times best-seller, I Don’t Believe in Atheists (2008); Collateral Damage (2008), which he co-wrote with Laila Al-Arian, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009); Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012); which he co-wrote with Joe Sacco and was also on The New York Times best-seller list, The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress (2013); Wages of Rebellion (2015);Unspeakable (2016); where he was interviewed by David Talbot, and America The Farewell Tour (2019).

Hedges was active in 2011 Occupy Wall Street.  He and Cornel West held a People’s Hearing of Goldman Sachs that culminated with a march on Goldman Sachs where Hedges and other activists were arrested.

In 2012, after the Obama Administration signed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, Hedges sued members of the U.S. government, asserting that section 2021 of the law unconstitutionally allowed presidential authority for indefinite detention without habeas corpus. He was later joined in the suit, Hedges v. Obama, by activists including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg. In May 2012 Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York ruled that the counter-terrorism provision of the NDAA is unconstitutional. The Obama administration appealed the decision and it was overturned. Hedges petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, but the Supreme Court denied certiorari in April 2014.

Hedges is married to the Canadian actor Eunice Wong.  They have two children.  Hedges has two children from a previous marriage. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Read More