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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.

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Alternative Formations Challenge Biden’s Sham ‘Summit For The Americas’

From June 6 to 10, the Biden administration will host the 9th ‘Summit of the Americas.’ The event, organized by the US-dominated Organization of American States (OAS), is turning out to be another huge foreign policy embarrassment for President Biden. In response to the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, an unprecedented number of Latin American and Caribbean Nations are refusing to attend. Clearing the FOG speaks with Claudia de la Cruz about this new era of solidarity and opposition to US hegemony. Social movements are organizing a counter summit, the People’s Summit, in Los Angeles and a Workers’ Summit in Tijuana. Countries are beginning to abandon the OAS and meet using CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) as an alternative formation. This is another nail in the coffin of the US’ unipolar power and a sign that the multipolar world has arrived.

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Guest:

Claudia de la Cruz is the Co-Executive Director of The People’s Forum. She was born in the South Bronx to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. She is a popular educator, community organizer and theologian. In her role as Co-Executive Director at The People’s Forum, Claudia is committed to contribute her experiences and skills in the creation of cultural-educational space with organizers, educators and cultural workers/artists to continue producing, promoting and uplifting the cultural traditions that nourish and strengthen our communities in our struggles towards social justice.

For over 20 years, she has been committed to movement building, and has actively participated in collective grassroots spaces, particularly in the communities of Washington Heights and The South Bronx.

Claudia was Pastor of her home-church, Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas-UCC- a community church rooted in the traditions of Latin American Liberation Theology and grassroots organizing. Through her ministry she found her passion, and has dedicated most of her life to the leadership development of youth through political education and culture.

In 2004, she co- founded Da Urban Butterflies Youth Leadership Development Project (D.U.B). Her experiences in D.U.B informed her participation in the development of cultural and political education programing at The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDAC-BX) for almost 5 years.

The United States Is Supporting A Brutal Occupation In Western Sahara

Immediately following the expulsion of the Spanish colonizers in the mid 1970’s, Western Sahara was occupied by Moroccan forces. With support from the United States, those occupiers, who treat the indigenous Sahrawi People very similarly to the way the Israeli occupiers treat the Palestinians, have been committing human rights abuses. Clearing the FOG speaks with Ruth McDonough and Tim Pluta, who have been staying with the family of a human rights defender, Sultana Khaya, since March 15. Ruth began a hunger strike on May 4 to demand an end to the violence against the Khaya’s and an investigation into the crimes committed against them. Ruth and Tim describe what people can do to show solidarity with the struggle of the Sahrawi People.

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Guests:

Ruth McDonough

Tim Pluta

Politicians Continue To Fail On Climate; We Must Fight For A Livable Future

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its sixth report in three phases beginning in August, 2021 and concluding in April 2022. The first report declared that the climate crisis is unquestionably due to human activity and called the situation a ‘Code Red for Humanity.’ The second and third parts indicated that not enough action is being taken not just to mitigate the crisis but also to adapt to it. Clearing the FOG speaks with Professor Benjamin Horton of the Earth Observatory of Singapore about the gravity of the crisis, including that some impacts such as sea level rise are irreversible for the foreseeable future, the importance of activism by scientists to inform the public and push policy makers and how to keep fighting for a more livable future.

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Guest:

Professor Benjamin Horton is Director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore and a professor at the Asian School of the Environment in Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He has been appointed the AXA-Nanyang Professor in Natural Hazards.

Prior to joining NTU, Professor Horton was Professor at Rutgers University and Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Horton obtained his BA from the University of Liverpool, UK, and PhD from the University of Durham, UK.

Professor Horton has won a number of awards in his career. In 2019, he was appointed the President’s Chair in Earth Sciences at NTU for outstanding achievement. For excellence in research he received the Plinius Medal from the European Geosciences Union, the Voyager Award from the American Geophysical Union, and the W. Storrs Cole Award from the Geological Society of America. He was elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union.

Professor Horton has actively contributed to the COP26 conference: he led the COP26 report on managing disaster risks from natural hazards in ASEAN. He was also appointed Mentor for the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort to guide a group of researchers working towards solutions for climate-vulnerable communities in the lead-up to COP26. He is a Review Editor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report and was an author of the 5th Assessment Report. Professor Horton’s research was cited by President Obama in his 2015 State of the Union Address at the United States Capitol on January 20th 2015.

Professor Horton has published over 230 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including 30 articles in high profile journals such as ScienceNature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Horton is supervising or has supervised 27 students to the degree of PhD and 23 postdoctoral scientists, of which 17 now have permanent academic positions.  His H-index is >70 and he has >15,000 citations.

Professor Horton’s research concerns sea-level change, with the aim of understanding and integrating the external and internal mechanisms that have determined sea-level changes in the past, and which will shape such changes in the future. His research impacts upon important ecological, ethical, social, economic and political problems specifically facing coastal regions.

Workers Are Tired Of Being Exploited And They’re Fighting Back

This past weekend, workers around the world celebrated May Day, also called Labor Day and International Workers Day. May Day marks the accomplishments and contributions of workers and reminds them of their rights. Clearing the FOG spoke with Stephanie Basile and Brittany Carloni of News Guild, part of the Communications Workers of America, about the many victories they have had in organizing media outlets over the past five years. They use a model that can be replicated everywhere of training member organizers and connecting them with other shops across the country to build a powerful labor movement that is democratic. Stephanie and Brittany talk about this moment and why workers are fighting back.

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Guests:

Stephanie Basile

Brittany Carloni

To Save The Planet, We Must End Instruments Of Corporate Power

On April 10, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted in what is believed to be a US-backed soft coup. One of the likely reasons for the coup is that Khan was taking action to end excessive corporate power bestowed by bilateral trade agreements. Clearing the FOG speaks with Manuel Pérez-Rocha of the Institute for Policy Studies about Khan and how trade agreements function to force countries into allowing corporations to exploit their workers and devastate their environment. Pérez-Rocha explains why ending corporate abuse is essential to addressing the climate crisis and how trade could be structured to uphold human rights and protection of the planet. He also speaks about the risks of extraction for minerals that are required for a green economy.

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Guest:

Manuel Pérez-Rocha is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington and an Associate of the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam. He is a Mexican national who has led efforts to promote just and sustainable alternative approaches to trade and investment agreements for two decades. Prior to working for IPS’ Global Economy Program, he worked with the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC) and continues to be a member of that coalition’s executive committee. He also worked for the Make Trade Fair campaign of Oxfam International.

Manuel studied International Relations at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), has a diploma on European Studies from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) and holds a M.A. on Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, Netherlands. Some of his last publications include op-eds in The Nation and The New York Times.

The Nazification Of Ukraine And How The War Is Changing The World

In follow up to a two-hour webinar hosted by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) with Scott Ritter, a former weapons inspector who blew the whistle on the lack of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq, Clearing the FOG continues the conversation on Ukraine. Ritter delves into how Nazis went from being a fringe group in Ukraine to being mainstreamed and treated as heroes. He explains the ways the conflict in Ukraine has ended the United States’ era of being a sole dominant global power and has exposed the weaknesses of both the US and NATO militaries. Ritter states that if the current conflict escalates to a nuclear war, it will mean the end of human civilization. Watch the original webinar, co-hosted by Margaret Flowers and Joe Lombardo here.

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Guest:

Scott Ritter is a former Marine intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union, implementing arms control agreements, and on the staff of General Norman Schwartzkopf during the Gulf War, where he played a critical role in the hunt for Iraqi SCUD missiles. From 1991 until 1998, he served as a Chief Inspector for the United Nations in Iraq, leading the search for Iraq’s proscribed weapons of mass destruction, and was a vocal critic of the American decision to go to war with Iraq.

Lessons On Fighting Privatization From The Recent Postal Service Victory

Congress recently passed the Postal Service Reform Act – the result of 15 years of organizing to end the mandate to prefund 75 years worth of retirement benefits and other changes that were hurting the people’s post office. The new act opens the door to building on the current postal infrastructure to provide more services to people, especially in poor and rural communities. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chuck Zlatkin, the legislative and political director of the largest local postal worker union, about what the new law will do and how it was won. Zlatkin also discusses the fight over making the new postal fleet electric and Biden’s new nominees to the Board of Governors. Zlatkin warns us not to underestimate the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who is playing a long game to privatize the postal service.

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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.

Michael Hudson: US Dollar Hegemony Ended Abruptly Last Wednesday

On Wednesday, March 23, 2022, the United States announced that it would freeze Russia’s access to its gold. Russia has the fifth highest amount of gold in the world. Economist Michael Hudson explains that this action, which follows the US seizing Venezuela and Afghanistan’s gold and assets, has effectively ended dollar hegemony, which has been in decline in recent years, and the free ride that the US has enjoyed abroad. Hudson states that we are now in uncharted territory as nothing like this has occurred in modern history. Sanctions on Russia are driving a shortage of fertilizer, which will lower food production and bring famine. Hudson predicts greater inflation, particularly for food and fuel, and shortages, which are all good for Wall Street profits, and more businesses being forced to close.

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Guest:

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He is the author of Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (Editions 1968, 2003, 2021), ‘and forgive them their debts’ (2018), J is for Junk Economics (2017), Killing the Host (2015), The Bubble and Beyond (2012), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and of The Myth of Aid (1971), amongst many others.

ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate. We also engage in the economic history of the ancient Near East.

Michael acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide including China, Iceland and Latvia on finance and tax law. He gives presentations on various topics at conferences and meetings and can be booked here. Listen to some of his many radio interviews to hear his hyperspeed analysis of the geo-political machinations of global economics.

Venezuela: A Model Of Resistance To US Intervention

Unlike Ukraine, Venezuela successfully resisted the violent US-led coup attempt in 2014, and in other years, by right wing forces and the hybrid war being waged against it. Venezuela is recovering despite the ongoing economic blockade. Now, because the United States needs oil, the Biden administration has started talking to the Maduro government and there is hope that relations between the two countries may resume. For an update on this situation, as well as the future of Venezuela’s US-based oil company CITGO, the status of Venezuela’s gold in the Bank of London, the demise of Juan Guaido, and the kidnapping of Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, Clearing the FOG speaks with Leonardo Flores, the Latin American campaign director for CODEPINK.

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Guest:

Leonardo Flores is a Latin America campaign coordinator of CODEPINK.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Maryland and he dropped out of a master’s program at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy to work as an analyst on U.S.-Venezuela relations. Leonardo was born in Venezuela and maintains close ties to social movements that have transformed the country over the past twenty years.

Conflict In Ukraine Used To Silence Voices Of Dissent In The United States

Clearing the FOG speaks with political comedian Lee Camp about the sudden de-platforming that happened to him when RT America abruptly shut down after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine last month. Camp lost his program Redacted Tonight that aired weekly for the past eight years, and he was kicked off of other platforms such as Spotify. Camp talks about the big picture of growing censorship, the state of the media and freedom of the press, and the assault on the public’s access to information that counters the narrative in the corporate media. Camp also discusses where we go from here to develop a democratized and independent media.

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Guest:

Lee Camp

Ukraine Is A Pawn In The United States’ Fight To Prevent A Multipolar World

This week, Clearing the FOG speaks with Brian Becker, a leader of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the host of The Socialist Program, for a socialist perspective of the war in Ukraine. Becker discusses why it was a mistake for Russia to invade and how it has shored up support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) even though Russia has legitimate security concerns and the United States did not appear to be willing to stop provoking an invasion. He also talks about the real racism exposed by this war, the impact of the media misinformation campaign on people on the left and the current state of the extreme right wing fascist movement. Becker offers an important lens for viewing the conflict and understanding what to do about it.

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Guest:

Brian Becker is the National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition. He is a founder of and a central organizer for the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the host of The Socialist Program.

Russian Military Expert: We Can Choose Peace Or Risk A Nuclear War

On Feb. 24, Clearing the FOG spoke at length with Dr. Vladimir Kozin, a Russian military and global security expert. That happened to be the day that Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine. Dr. Kozin explains the goals of the mission and the events that led to it. He describes the eight year assault on ethnic Russians living in Eastern Ukraine that caused more than 14,000 deaths. He also describes how the current conflict can be resolved and the risk of a major, and possibly nuclear war, if a diplomatic solution is not achieved. March 1 to 7 is an international week of action to say No Wars! No Sanctions! No NATO! Click here for more information.

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Guest:

Dr. Vladimir Kozin is a Leading Expert, Military-Political Studies Center, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Russian Foreign Ministry, Corresponding Member, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Professor, Russian Academy of Military Sciences Member, Scientific Board, National Institute of Global Security Research, Member, Expert Council, Foreign Relations Committee, Russian Senate, Winner of Colonel-General V.Korobushin’s Reward (Russian Strategic Missiles’ Forces) and Russian Natural Sciences Academy Reward, Member, Friends of Gorchakov’s Foundation

Every US President Has Worked To Uphold White Supremacy

For President’s Day week, Clearing the FOG brings back this 2020 interview with Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report. She is the author of “Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents” that chronicles how every president, even the ‘good ones,’ has upheld the white supremacy upon which the United States was founded and how social movements have been the only effective tool to bring about meaningful social change. Kimberley also urges Black America to break with the Democrats in order to build political power. In addition to current news and analysis, this program contains a segment by Paul Tulloch of Ottawa who describes what the trucker convoy is about and who is behind it.

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Guest:

Margaret Kimberley is a co-founder and Executive Editor and Senior Columnist for Black Agenda Report. Her first book, “Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents” was published on February 4, 2020 by Steerforth Press. Dr. Cornel West said, “Margaret Kimberley gives us an intellectual gem or prophetic fire about all the U.S. presidents and their deep roots in the vicious legacy of white supremacy and predatory capitalism. Such truths seem more than most Americans can bear, though we ignore her words at our own peril!”

She is a recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromising Integrity in Journalism, and the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press’ 2021 Women in Media Award, and a board member of Consortium News.

Ms. Kimberley is a contributor to the anthologies “In Defense of Julian Assange,” “Capitalism on a Ventilator: the Impact of COVID-19 on China and the U.S.,” and “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence.” Her activism includes membership on the the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition, the Coordinating Committee of Black Alliance for Peace, the Interim Steering Committee of the Green Eco-Socialist Network, and the Board of Directors of the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation.

Her work has appeared in Counterpunch, Consortium News, Common Dreams and the Dallas Morning News. She has appeared in national and international media including CGTN, RT, Al Mayadeen, Deutsche Welle (DW), Al Jazeera English, and Sky News. Ms. Kimberley co-hosts Black Agenda Report Presents: the Left Lens on Youtube.

She posts her work on FacebookTwitter @freedomrideblogInstagram, and Patreon.

She is a graduate of Williams College and lives in New York City.

Puerto Rico: March Of Indignation Against ‘Shakedown Plan’ Of More Austerity

Tens of thousands of teachers and other public workers have taken to the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico in a March of Indignation to protest a debt restructuring plan given the green light by Judge Taylor Swain of New York. Puerto Ricans call it the “Shakedown Plan” because it will enforce more austerity on a land where disinvestment in education and health care and privatization of the energy system have already caused great hardship. A National Strike has been called for February 18. Clearing the FOG speaks with Monisha Rios, a Puerto Rican social worker and psychologist, about who and what are behind the protests. Rios discusses the PROMESA, an act passed in Congress, that put a financial oversight board in charge of the islands and that has violated the rights of Puerto Ricans to have a say in what is happening. For more information, find resources listed below.

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Guest:
Monisha Rios, PhD, MSW (ella/she/her) is a Puerto Rican psychologist, social worker, and anti-imperialist veteran of the U.S. Army.  Since 2013, she has been investigating the American Psychological Association’s 104-year role in the weaponization and militarization of psychology in service to imperialism.  Monisha works to expose the psychological warfare component of U.S.-led hybrid warfare, with a special focus on the narratives used to destabilize Peoples’ movements toward liberation from capitalist-imperialist oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.

What U.S.-based allies can do to support the strike and our long-term resistance: 

  • AFFIRM OUR SOVEREIGNTY
    • Use sovereignty-affirming language when discussing Puerto Rico within your groups, in statements, during actions, in articles, etc.
    • Help us counter the colonial narrative on PR, the weaponization of the term “self-determination” on the part of the US gov, Statehood lobby, and the pro-colonial US imperialist left – and the confusion/neglect it fosters within the peace movement by following the example of our sister nations in CELAC https://www.plenglish.com/news/2021/09/24/puerto-rican-pro-independence-champions-celebrate-celacs-support/
    • Frame the “relationship” between the US and PR as what is it – US interventionism through classical colonialism and neocolonialism. General discussions of US interventionism in LatAm are incomplete without mention of PR as an occupied sovereign nation.
  • LEARN MORE
    • Host “Eyes on Puerto Rico” cram sessions to help your org’s members get up to speed on PR politics, the status question, and the current events leading up to the strike.
    • Encourage a sustained focus on PR in your organizations, in conjunction with your other work on LatAm.
    • Learn about how U.S. hybrid warfare works in the context of PR. This pertains especially to the narratives on status, lawfare through PROMESA and economic warfare through the austerity measures/Jones Act, etc…
    • Follow @FMPRLucha, Defendiendo la Educación de Puerto Rico, Jornada Se Acabaron las PromesasNY Boricua Resistance , A Call to Action on Puerto Rico, Bandera Roja, Carlos (independent journalist), Devilette, Bianca Graulau, Claridad, @RadioIslaTV, @ElNuevoDia, and Puerto Rican MSM. There are many other groups and accounts to follow for more info, but this is a start.
    • Follow these hashtags: #PROMESA #MarchaDeIndignación #SalarioDigno #LaGenteAntesDeLDeuda #PeopleBeforeProfit ##RetiroDigno #JusticiaSalarial #SolidaridadConElMagisterio #SalarioJusto #RetiroPaTodes #FueraLuma #PuertoRico #DefendPR #ParoNacional
  • AMPLIFY
    • Consider writing solidarity statements/articles from your orgs
    • If you are part of a journalist org, consider making regular space to cover PR
  • ACT
    • Connect with diaspora groups like A Call to Action on PR, Boricua Resistance, and others so that your groups can join them when they protest in the US. This is crucial support for us!
    • Between now and February 18, encourage your groups to partake in a social media campaign, posting photos of themselves with messages of support for our striking workers, messages against the debt, against the FOMB, against LUMA and HMS privatization, against the lack of hospital in Vieques, and so on. They can use the following hashtags: #SalarioDigno #LaGenteAntesDeLDeuda #PeopleBeforeProfit ##RetiroDigno #JusticiaSalarial #SolidaridadConElMagisterio #SalarioJusto #RetiroPaTodes #FueraLuma #PuertoRico #DefendPR #ParoNacional #HospitalParaViequesYA  #FueraHMS 

Antiwar Groups Rally To Stop Us From Being Lied Into War With Russia

Clearing the FOG provides excerpts from the speakers at the National Online Rally to stop war with Russia over Ukraine that was held on Feb. 5 as part of the national actions that took place in about 70 cities in Hawaii and coast to coast. The rally and actions were organized based on a unified call to action issued by 12 national and international antiwar organizations, which was endorsed by more than 200 more organizations. The demands include stopping the war with Russia, stopping the supply of weapons to Nazis in Ukraine, ending NATO, de-escalating the threat of nuclear war and resolving the current conflict within the framework of international law. Speakers include Alice Loazia from Task Force on the Americas, David Swanson of World Beyond War, Sara Flounders of International Action Center, Ann Wright of CODEPINK, Rafiki Morris of Black Alliance for Peace, Leela Anand of ANSWER Coalition, Henry Lowendorf of the US Peace Council, Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Susan Schnall of Veterans For Peace and Joe Lombardo of the United National Antiwar Coalition. You can view the entire rally here.

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