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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On Syria – “The United States Is Not In Control”: An Interview With Vijay Prashad

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

We speak with Vijay Prashad, who provides insightful analysis of the situation in Syria and the aerial bombing of Damascus by the US. The US’ claims, which were used to justify the bombing, of attacking Syrian chemical weapons facilities make little sense. If the US knew of such facilities, the information should have been provided to the UN so they could be inspected. Prashad finds it strange that the US attacked Damascus while chemical weapons investigators were in Syria and had not yet completed their investigation of the alleged chemical attack. The attack did not change the balance of power. Syria continues to regain control of its territory and the rebels, along with their allies, i.e. the US, UK and France, have been routed. These and other issues around the Syrian war are discussed and Prashad also examines the impact of US actions on conflicts with North Korea and Iran.

 

Listen here:

 

In the News:

National Days of Antiwar Actions

J20 Defendants

TransPacific Partnership

Six weeks of Protest in Palestine

Suicide Protest by David Buckel

John Boehner profiting from Marijuana

Teachers’ Strikes

 

Relevant websites:

Vijay Prashad

The Tricontinental

Black Alliance for Peace

CODEPINK – Divestment campaign

March on the Pentagon

No Trump Military Parade

No US Foreign Military Bases

United National Antiwar Coalition

World Beyond War

 

Guest:

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, journalist, commentator and a Marxist intellectual. He is the Executive Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books.

He was the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, ConnecticutUnited States from 1996 to 2017. In 2013–2014, he was the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut and has been a Senior Fellow of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs in Beirut.

Prashad is the author of twenty-five books. In 2012, he published five books, including Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press) and Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today (The New Press). His book The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (2007) was chosen as the Best Nonfiction book by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in 2008 and it won the Muzaffar Ahmed Book Award in 2009. In 2013, Verso published his The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. He is author of No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism (LeftWord Books, 2015) and the editor of Letters to Palestine (Verso Books, 2015), a book that includes the writings of Teju ColeSinan AntoonNoura Erakat, and Junot Diaz. His most recent book is Red Star Over the Third World (LeftWord, 2017).

Prashad is a journalist who writes for FrontlineThe HinduAlternet and BirGun. Each Friday, he writes a column called Radical Journeys for Newsclick. He has reported from around the world for the Indian media – from Latin America to the Middle East to Africa.

In 2015, Prashad joined as the Chief Editor of the New Delhi-based publisher LeftWord Books. He is also an advisory board member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, part of the global BDS movement.

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50 Years Later, The Poor People’s Campaign Continues

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign, called for by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although Dr. King was murdered a month prior to the Poor People’s Campaign, it happened anyway. Resurrection City was built on the Mall in Washington, DC and people stayed there for six weeks. Fifty years later, widespread poverty exists and the “evils” of racism, capitalism and militarism are still in crisis. Two major campaigns are organizing poor people across the country. We speak with Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign and Rev. Robin Tanner of the Repairers of the Breach.

 

Listen here:

 

Relevant articles and websites:

Thoughts about the Greatness of Selma, Unity and King by Alan Gilbert

Huge Organizing Effort, ’40 Days of Action’ Launching to Fight Poverty by Eleanor J. Bader

America Needs a New Poor People’s Campaign by Rev. William J. Barber, II

Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign

March for Our Lives

Repairers of the Breach

 

Guests:

Cheri Honkala is an American anti-poverty advocate, co-founder of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) and co-founder and National Coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. She has been a noted advocate for human rights in the United States and internationally.She is the mother of actor Mark Webber.

She was featured prominently in the 1997 book Myth of the Welfare Queen by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Zucchino. In 2011, Honkala was the Green Party candidate for Sheriff of Philadelphia, running on the promise of refusing to evict families from their homes. She is best known for being the Green Party’s nominee for vice-president in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.

On January 31, 2017 Honkala announced she is running for Representative of Pennsylvania House District 197 in the March 21 special election to replace Leslie Acosta, who was the second state representative in the 197th District to resign on federal fraud charges. She is considered to have more name recognition than her Republican and Democratic opponents. Honkala ran as a write-in candidate against Republican Lucinda Little; there was no Democrat on the ballot in the heavily Democratic district.

Honkala was endorsed many progressives and organizations including Bernie Sanders’ group Our Revolution, Tim Canova’s group Progress for All, environmental activist Josh Fox, progressives Rosario Dawson and Tom Morello, former Director Emeritus of Philaposh (a labor organization) Jim Moran, former Philadelphia Health Commissioner Walter Tsou, the PEOPLE Committee of the AFSCME District Council 47, Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks, the Philadelphia chapter of Socialist Alternative, and many other local clergy and leaders.

In March 2017, Honkala lost a special election to represent the 197th district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to Democratic write-in Emilio Vazquez when the votes were counted. However, this election is under investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania Attorney General. Honkala, alongside the Green Party of Pennsylvania, Lucinda Little (the Republican candidate), and the State and City Republican parties filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against Emilio Vazquez, the Philadelphia Democratic Committee, Philadelphia City Commissioners, PA Secretary of State Cortes, and the State’s Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation. The lawsuit alleges widespread election fraud and voter intimidation on the part of Vazquez and the Philadelphia Democratic Committee, and failure to properly supervise the elections for the other defendants.

Claims in the federal lawsuit include electioneering inside the polling place, money exchange between Democratic poll workers and election officials, a ballot box being at Vazquez’s “victory” party, tables set up outside by Democratic poll works made to look like voter sign-in tables, election workers asking people who they are voting for, Democratic ward leaders handling the voting machines, Vazquez meeting with election officials on election day inside of the polling place, and other claims. Despite the investigation, Vazquez was officially sworn in as a member of the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives on April 5, 2017.

Rev. Robin Tanner is a Unitarian Universalist minister, poet, and activist who serves as the Minister of Worship and Outreach at Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, New Jersey

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“Israel Has No Legitimacy”: An Interview With Miko Peled

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

In Palestine, on Friday, March 30, Land Day, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated. This began six weeks of protests leading up to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba on May 15. Israeli soldiers fired at the demonstrators with live ammunition killing 17 and wounding over one thousand. We speak with author and activist Miko Peled about the violent occupation of Palestine by Zionists. The United States is a top supporter of the occupation through funding of the Israeli military and providing cover for Israeli violations of international law in the United Nations. Peled emphasizes that activists in the US have a responsibility to take action to end the occupation of Palestine and outlines many ways to do this, including an aggressive BDS campaign and support for legislation in Congress. Peled says “Israel” is an illegitimate state and the area should be called Palestine. He also speaks about his newest book, “Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

Listen here:

Relevant articles and websites:

History of Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine: the Nakba by AlJazeera

Palestinians will not Cease to Demand their Rights by Basem Naim

For the First Time in 70 Years, Palestinians return to their Villages by Shatha Hammad

Violence Continues in Palestine, Israel Denounced by AlJazeera

Miko Peled

BDS Movement

McCollum Bill HR 4391: Promoting Human Rights by ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act

 

Guest:

Miko Peled is a writer and activist born and raised in Jerusalem.  Driven by a personal family tragedy to explore Palestine, its people and their narrative he has written a book about his journey called “The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” The book covers the work in which Peled’s family has been involved since his grandparents immigrated to Palestine in the early 20th century, describing their work and their life in detail. Peled’s maternal grandfather, Avraham Katznelson was a signer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence; his father Matti Peled was a General in the Israeli army; in the 1970’s his father pioneered an Israeli Palestinian dialogue and eventually met with Yasser Arafat in an effort to convene him to recognize the State of Israel and adopt the Two State Solution.  In 1997 Miko’s sister Nurit lost her daughter Smadar in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem and that was what finally drove Miko to embark on the journey to discover Palestine.

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Resistance Is Necessary To Overcome The Climate Crisis

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

The science is clear that we must no longer build new fossil fuel infrastructure and we must invest in clean sources of energy, yet oil and gas companies continue to receive permits to build more pipelines, compressor stations and refineries. in response, communities are organizing to stop these projects. We speak with Tim DeChristopher about how communities are using the necessity defense to defend their actions to stop the projects. And we discuss the state of the climate justice movement, how Big Greens are failing on climate justice and strategies for action.

Listen here:

Relevant articles and websites:

Defendants Acquitted based on Climate Necessity Defense by Kevin Zeese

The Boston Climate Trial that Might have been by Wen Stephenson

The Futility of “Big Green” Activism: An interview with Tim DeChristopher by Richard Heinberg

Climate Disobedience

We Are Cove Point

 

Guest:

Tim DeChristopher as Bidder 70, disrupted an illegitimate Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction in December of 2008, by outbidding oil companies for parcels around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. His actions and 21 month imprisonment earned him a national and international media presence, which he has used as a platform to spread the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for bold, confrontational action in order to create a just and healthy world. Tim used his prosecution as an opportunity to organize the climate justice organization Peaceful Uprising in Salt Lake City. Tim is a Co-Founder of the Climate Disobedience Center, and after graduating from Harvard Divinity School, continues the work to defend a livable future. Read More.

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Farming For The Health Of People And The Planet

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

Our current food system has a large negative impact on the climate crisis and our health. Factory farms produce large amounts of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), pollute the land, air and water and deplete the nutrients in soil. We are eating foods that contain low levels of nutrients and contain hormones, antibiotics and pesticides that harm our health. Regenerative farming techniques ameliorate these problems by restoring the nutrients to the soil, lowering the need for chemicals (and water) and sequestering carbon. We speak with Pat Kerrigan of Organic Consumers Association about the growing move toward regenerative agriculture and what people need to know about the food we eat.

 

Listen here:

Relevant articles and websites:

David Montgomery and Anne Biklé

Organic Consumers Association

Regeneration International

Main Street Project

Natural Resources Conservation Services

Four per Thousand Initiative

Rodale Institute

 

Guest:

Patrick Kerrigan is the Retail Education Coordinator for the Organic Consumers Association.

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The Public Banking Movement Is Taking Off In The U.S.

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

Public Banks exist around the world. They are used to hold public dollars, such as taxes and fees, to keep the money local so it serves the public interest, instead of giving it to Wall Street banks who charge high fees and interest rates. There is only one public bank so far in the United States, the Bank of North Dakota. It has been in existence for almost 100 years. Now, thanks to the work of the Public Banking Institute, there is a vibrant movement to create more public banks in the U.S. at the city and state level. We speak with Walt McRee and John Comerford about the reasons to support public banks, how they would serve people instead of Wall Street profits and current efforts across the country.

 

Listen here:

Relevant articles and websites:

Public Banking Institute

Banking on New Jersey

Washington Public Bank Coalition

 

Guests:

Walt McRee was Chair of the Public Banking Institute (PBI) Board from 2015 – 2017. He continues to donate his time to PBI by coordinating the monthly coalition and coordinator calls. Prior to becoming Chair, Walt was a Senior Advisor to PBI from its earliest days in early 2011 while also serving as a Director of the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project. Following a career in broadcasting, Walt became a media strategist and consultant, writer, producer, marketing entrepreneur, voice talent. In these roles, he developed national media campaigns for world hunger, the environment, public broadcasting and the arts. As Founder and CEO of the Alliance for Public Broadcasting, Inc. he pioneered and implemented new fundraising principles and programs for use in public radio and TV stations nationwide. Walt produces and co-hosts the bi-weekly radio program “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown,” hosts PBI’s TV program “The Public Bank Solution” and has written and produced a number of videos for PBI.

John Comerford is the President of The United States Retirement Corporation, a Seattle based pension consulting firm (www.retirecorp.com). Both John’s business career and his academic research have been focused on the interrelationship between public policy and organizational/individual decision making. John graduated from the University of Massachusetts (1970) and has earned graduate degrees from Harvard University (1984), the American College (2002), the University of London (2006) and the University of Cambridge (2008). 

Over the course of his career, John has served as founder and CEO of several successful banks, including the National Cooperative Bank, Prime Bank and The Bank of Massachusetts. He began his career overseeing the outside managment of trust fund assets for the City of Boston. He has also served as a Managing Director of StockAmerica, Calvert Group and Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, a Zurich Financial Services subsidiary.

John recenty served a six year-term as Vice Chair of the Investment Advisory Board for the $3 billion City of Seattle’s Public Employees Retirement System. He is currently Treasurer and Trustee of the Seattle World Affairs Council and Chair of the Queen Anne Food Bank at Sacred Heart. Governor Inslee has appointed John to his second term on the Board of the Washington Economic Development Finance Authority and the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate have appointed John to the Task Force on Infrastructure and Public Banking. John also serves on the Finance Committee of the Rainier Club and is a founding member of the Northwest Friends of the Carter Center, having served in the Administration of President Jimmy Carter, where he organized a White House Conference on Economic Development.

John has also served as a member of the University of Cambridge Governing Board and on President Obama’s Committee for Retirement Security as well as on the National Community Investment Advisory Board. Through the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, John currently provides pension and retirement related financial counseling to military service members.

John holds honorable discharges from the U.S. Air Force and was nominated for the U.S. Congress in 1992 and 1994 and Washington State Treasurer in 2016.

John and his wife Sheia live in Seattle and have one daughter.

Earned Industry Designations

ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) 

CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter)

RHU (Registered Health Underwriter)

GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources) 

REBC (Registered Employee Benefits Consultant)

RF (Registered Fiduciary

AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary)

PPC (Professional Plan Consultant)

CEBS (Certified Employee Benefits Specialist)

FLMI (Fellow, Life Management Institute)

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Marches On Washington To End The Wars

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

President Trump formally requested the Pentagon to organize a military parade in Washington, DC on November 11, celebrated as Veteran’s Day. However, groups of veterans want to stop the glorification of war and are organizing to reclaim the holiday as Armistice Day. This November is the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. We speak with Brian Becker of the ANSWER coalition about the many groups organizing opposition to the military parade and calling for an end to wars at home and abroad. We also speak with Cindy Sheehan about the October Women’s March on the Pentagon, which was organized in response to the Democratic Party-affiliated Women’s Marches that omitted anti-war messages. Both Becker and Sheehan expose the bipartisan nature of the war machine in the United States.

 

Listen here:

 

Relevant articles and websites:

Mass Mobilization Against Trump Military Parade by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese

Trump gets his Unpopular Military Parade, Counter March Planned by Walter Gelles

ANSWER Coalition Mobilization Against Trump Military Parade

No Trump Military Parade

Raining on Trump’s Parade: An Interview with Margaret Flowers by Ann Garrison

Cindy Sheehan and the Women’s March on the Pentagon: A Movement, Not Just a Protest by Whitney Webb

Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox

March on Pentagon

Women’s March on Pentagon Facebook Page

 

Guests:

Brian Becker. is the National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition and a leader of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Becker has been a central organizer of the mass anti-war demonstrations that have taken place in Washington, D.C. over the past decade. He is a convenor of the People’s Congress of Resistance and co-hosts Loud and Clear with John Kiriakou.

 

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan who was killed in Iraq on 04 April 2004, in the USA’s illegal and immoral occupation for profit and control of natural resources.

Cindy was a liberal Democrat before Casey was killed, but in her quest for answers as to why her son was killed and why the people who were responsible for his death were not held accountable, Cindy has had a political transformation that eventually led her to Revolutionary Socialism as the solution to the Imperialist/Capitalist two-party stranglehold on not only US politics, but, by extension, the world.

Cindy has traveled all over the world and has seen Socialism in practice and is convinced that a new world is not only possible, but also practical and desirable.

In 2008, Cindy Sheehan, challenged then House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her Congressional seat, and although a political novice and independent, Sheehan received 2nd place in a field of seven with almost 50,000 votes. Pelosi had not seen such a fierce challenger before and has not been challenged to such a successful degree, since.

Cindy’s platform called for, among other things: end to all wars and profound reduction of US military bases around the world; nationalization of banks and the Federal Reserve; single-payer health care; heavily subsidized education from Pre-School through University; electoral reform; democratization of the economy and the work place; decriminalization of marijuana and the end to the Federal Government’s drug wars and harassment of California’s growers and medicinal dispensaries; sustainable and renewable energy free from fossil fuel production and usage; freedom of political prisoners held in US prisons; and much more. Sheehan had a labor platform that was hailed by workers all over the world.

Cindy learned a lot from that campaign and she has no delusions or illusions about the current US paradigm, but Cindy believes in Roseanne Barr’s commitment, intellect and heart and is honored by the nod and excited to have a larger platform to talk about peace and Socialist Revolution. Sheehan has been a registered member of the Peace and Freedom Party since 2009.

Sheehan has published seven books, is the host and director of Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Radio Show. Cindy still travels the world working for peace and justice and her home base is Vacaville, CA where she loves spending time with her three surviving children and four grandchildren.

Cindy is here for the long haul to insure her grandbabies and all the grandbabies of the world have a sustainable and peaceful future.

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Public Unions Under Attack Fight Back

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

Above photo: Erik McGregor.

The Supreme Court has entered the final phase in its deliberation of Janus vs AFSCME and is expected to announce its decision this June. If the decision is made against public sector unions, as is expected, it will be one more nail in the coffin of collective bargaining and protection of worker’s rights. Union leaders and workers are taking this assault seriously. They recently held a national day of action, #UnrigTheSystem. Unions are educating their workers about the case to overcome billionaire-funded propaganda being aired in support of it. And in West Virginia, teachers and other public school employees are now in the eighth day of a wildcat strike for better pay and health benefits. Oklahoma teachers are planning to go on strike too. We speak with Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers Union and Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association.

 

Listen Here:

 

Relevant articles and websites:

The Radical Roots of Janus by Joseph A McCartin

Union Busters Set Themselves Up for Janus Backfire by IUOE Local 150

Billionaires behind Supreme Court Case Poised to Dismantle Public Sector Unions by Mary Bottari

Worker’s National Day of Action for Unions, #UnrigtheSystem by Kevin Zeese

West Virginia Teachers are Now out on a Wildcat Strike by Kate Arnoff

West Virginia Teachers Occupy Streets in Statewide Strike by RT

West Virginia Strike continues as Teachers Reject Union’s Back-to-work Order by Joseph Kishore

DONATE: West Virginia Teachers’ Strike Fund

 

Guests:

Elizabeth A. Davis – After winning an upset election on a platform of reform, Elizabeth “Liz” Davis was sworn into office August 1 as President of the Washington Teachers Union. In her successful campaign, Davis promised to…

  • Restore democracy and involve more members in the union to strengthen teachers’ voice.
  • Build strong alliances with parents and community organizations round issues of common concern, from the need for more transparency and fairness in school budgets to the ways in which the district’s alarmingly high teacher churn negatively impacts learning.
  • Engage on the content of education reform, teaching and learning within DCPS, including curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
  • Work to improve the climate in schools to create a more respectful place to work and for students to learn.

Davis, an award-winning educator, has taught in DC Public Schools for 41 years, most recently as an Information Technology teacher at Phelps High School. After being recruited to teach drafting at Jefferson Junior High School in 1972 by the superintendent who was impressed by a course she designed, the school’s principal tried to bar her from the job because she was female. Fighting for her right to teach – and her female students’ right to take classes – in a male dominated vocational education field set the tone for a life as an activist.

During decades when many DCPS facilities were literally falling down around students and staff, Davis became known as a teacher who was unafraid to stand up to unsafe conditions, from water contaminated with unsafe levels of lead to tar fumes that were sickening students and teachers forced to stay in a school with a collapsed roof.

While working at Sousa Middle School, a National Historic Landmark associated with the struggle to desegregate schools in the nation’s capitol, DCPS put forth plans to close the school. She inspired her students to create their own design for a new school building and organize their parents, community, and political allies to save their school. After helping students and teachers lobby city officials to pass then-Mayor Fenty’s school modernization bill, speak out for much-needed resources like adequate books in their library, and even taking her class to Capitol Hill to speak before the Congressional Black Caucus, DCPS officials changed course, invested in modernizing the school, and even integrated student ideas into their renovation plans. A donor funded much-needed books for the school library.

When DC Voice was trying to understand the concerns of the community on school issues, the organization asked Davis to convene roundtables with parents and teachers. She has also been active in Empower DC, Save Our Schools, and the Ward 5 Education Council as well as the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Women Educators and the National Commission on Writing.

After watching strong students struggling to write, Davis developed a keen interest in nurturing literacy and writing skills among the youth she taught. She became a teacher consultant to the DC Area Writing Project in 1995, and also has been active in the Telling Stories Project of Teaching for Change.

In 2008, Davis co-authored an op-ed “Bargaining for Better Teaching” in The Washington Post about the failure of the WTU to bring good ideas to the bargaining table with Michelle Rhee on how to support and improve teaching and the quality of education in DCPS. Her union activism has included many years as a Building Representative for the WTU and service on the union’s contract negotiating team in 2007-2008. Her tenure in nine different DC public schools included a stint working alongside Jason Kamras, DCPS’s Chief of Human Capital.

Davis has been honored by DCPS as a highly effective teacher, and awards over her long career have included the MetLife Foundation Ambassador in Education Award and the Masonic Scottish Rites Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a graduate of DC’s Eastern High School and holds a BS in Technology Education from American University and a MA in Educational Administration.

Dale Lee – A native of Wyoming County, Dale Lee is a graduate of Clinch Valley College (Wise, VA) and obtained his special education certification through the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies (WV COGS). He is completing his Master’s degree through Salem International University. A veteran teacher of 22 years, Dale’s assignment was teaching special education at Princeton Senior High School. He is currently on a leave of absence to serve as WVEA President. As WVEA President, Lee is the leader of the state’s largest education employee organization. He first assumed the full-time duties of WVEA President on June 15, 2008. His was recently reelected to his fourth three-year term. Lee will serve as WVEA President through June 15, 2020. Prior to being elected WVEA President, Lee served for three years as Vice President, five years as WVEA Treasurer and was a member of the WVEA Executive Committee for three years. He has also been active in the Mercer County Education Association since he began teaching in 1986 including serving as its president. Lee’s immediate priorities include a salary increase for all school employees to begin to move teacher salaries to the national average. In addition, Lee wants to ensure public education funding remains a priority for our elected leaders at both the state and local level. He also wants to increase the level of respect shown to education employees for the tremendous jobs they do. Lee’s wife, Brenda, recently retired from her teaching position in Mercer County. They are the parents of two daughters. Danielle is a teacher in Mercer County. Jessica is a 2008 graduate of Princeton High and a graduate of Concord University. She works in the Princeton area.

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Indigenous Wisdom Provides Path For Positive Change

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot, an Indigenous lawyer, writer and activist, has a new book, “Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change,” which explains her personal journey to activism and both how our societies have arrived at this time of grave threats and what we can do to create change. Some of our tasks are to recognize that colonization has not ended, the ways it manifests itself and how to begin the process of decolonization. We can do that, in part, by working to protect water sovereignty. Sherri talks about the mobilization at Standing Rock and the rise of Water Protectors. Then we speak with RaeLynn Cazelot, United Houmi and Pointe-au-Chien, who is a Water Protector working to stop the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP). The BBP is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, the same company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline in the Dakotas. Currently, Water Protectors are holding a week of action against the BBP in Louisiana.

 

Listen here:

 

Relevant articles and websites:

Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change

Publisher’s Weekly Review of Sacred Instructions

Sacred Instructions on Facebook

NoBayouBridge.Global (for the week of action)

NoBPP.org

L’eau Est La Vie (Water is Life) Camp Facebook Page

Louisiana Bucket Brigade Facebook Page

 

Guests:

Sherri Mitchell was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maine, and received her Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. Sherri is an alumna of the American Indian Ambassador program, and the Udall Native American Congressional Internship program. In 2010, she received the Mahoney Dunn International Human Rights and Humanitarian Award, for research into Human Rights violations against Indigenous Peoples. In 2015, she received the Spirit of Maine Award, for commitment and excellence in the field of International Human Rights. In 2016, Sherri’s portrait was added to the esteemed portrait series, Americans Who Tell the Truth, by artist Robert Shetterly. And, she is the recipient of the 2017 Hands of Hope award from the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine.

Sherri was a longtime advisor to the American Indian Institute’s Healing the Future Program and currently serves as an advisor to the Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America. She is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. Prior to forming the Land Peace Foundation, Sherri served as a law clerk to the Solicitor of the United States Department of Interior; as an Associate with Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan Law Firm; and a civil rights educator for the Maine Attorney General’s Office, and; she was the Staff Attorney for the Native American Unit of Pine Tree Legal.

Sherri speaks and teaches around the world on issues of Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and spiritual change. Her broad base of knowledge allows her to synthesize these many subjects into a cohesive whole, weaving together the legal, political, and spiritual aspects surrounding a multitude of complex issues. Her work is featured in the documentary film titled Dancing with the Cannibal Giant, released in October of 2017 by New Story Film, and her first book Sacred Instructions is now in print. Sherri is also the cohost of the radio program Love (and revolution) Radio, which focuses on real-life stories of heart-based activism and revolutionary spiritual change.

RaeLynn Cazelot (United Houma Nation, Pointe-au-Chien) is a Water Protector from Louisiana.

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Latin American Resistance And US Imperialism

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

Latin America is described as the back yard of the United States. There is a long history of US intervention in Latin American countries and vibrant resistance both to the US and to vicious right wing governments. Current hot spots are Venezuela, where the US is now openly advocating regime change, Colombia, which is struggling to live up to its peace agreement, and the Honduras, where the new president is being heavily protested after a fraudulent election. We speak about these countries and more with James Jordan and Chuck Kaufman, co-coordinators of the Alliance for Global Justice.

Listen here:


Relevant articles and websites:

Regime Change Fails: Is A Military Coup or Invasion of Venezuela Next? by Kevin Zeese

Venezuela Prepares After Tillerson’s US Tour of Latin America to Gain Support for a Venezuela Coup

Alliance for Global Justice

 

Guests:

James Patrick Jordan has lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1983. He has a long history of grassroots organizing in peace, labor, international solidarity and environmental movements. James has published articles on these subjects in a variety of outlets and has authored or co-authored two plays about Colombian prisons. His main duties at AfGJ are in regards to Colombia solidarity, ecology, labor and prison issues.  He serves on the Board of the Liberty Tree Foundation and represents AfGJ in the Coordinadora Americana por los Derechos Humanos y las Víctimas de Prisión Política (American Coordination for Human Rights and the Victims of Political Imprisonment) and the Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos (Peoples Human Rights Observatory).

Chuck Kaufman is National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice. He has been a leader of the Central and Latin America solidarity movements since joining the staff of the Nicaragua Network in 1987. He gave up his successful advertising business out of disgust at Congress’ cowardice during the Iran-Contra scandal. He went on his first coffee picking brigade to Nicaragua that same year. Chuck has been in the front ranks of the movements to support the right of people in Latin America and the Caribbean to dignity, sovereignty, and self-determination. He has led delegations to Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti and Honduras.

Chuck has written and spoken often about US democracy manipulation programs through the National Endowment for Democracy and US Agency for International Development as well as what he calls the need to look to the Abolition Movement as our inspiration to change the culture of US militarism. He is a board member of the Latin America Solidarity Coalition and a leader of the LASC’s effort to build a stronger movement to oppose US militarism and the militarization of relations with Latin America. He was a founder of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition and has spoken at most of the major Washington, DC anti-war demonstrations. He is a board member of the Honduras Solidarity Network and a founder of the Venezuela Solidarity Network. He has a B.A. in Government and Politics from George Mason University. His first political activism was as a high school student in 1969 when he organized student walk-out in four county high schools in his native Indiana.

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Why AFRICOM Matters And What You Can Do About It

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

U.S. Military Quietly causing Devastation in Africa.

The United States has a long history of intervention in Africa that is not widely discussed. Africa is a continent with tremendous resources that has been colonized and exploited by Western countries for more than 100 years. True to the practices of colonizers, the United States and its allies have made sure that African governments are controlled and the population is kept in poverty. These efforts expanded with AFRICOM (Africa Command) after its creation in 2008. We discuss AFRICOM with Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report and the Black Alliance for Peace. Then Maurice Carney, co-founder of Friends of the Congo, digs deep into the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and U.S. involvement, which continues today.

Take Action – Sign the petition in support of protesters against the violent Kabila government.

Listen here:

 

Relevant articles and websites:

AFRICOM is the Question by Margaret Kimberley

Africa – Where the Next US Oil Wars will be by Bruce A. Dixon

AFRICOM Expands Mission in Africa, Real News interview with Maurice Carney

Black Agenda Report

Friends of the Congo

Take Action: Telema.org

 

Guests:

Margaret Kimberley is Editor and Senior Columnist at Black Agenda Report. She is a regular guest on radio and internet talk shows and has appeared on Al Jazeera English, RT, WBAI, KPFK, Presstv Iran, and Govorit Moskva (Moscow Voice Radio). Ms. Kimberley serves on the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), the Coordinating Committee of Black Alliance for Peace and the Advisory Board of ExposeFacts.org. She is writing a book about racism and the American presidency. She is a graduate of Williams College and lives in New York City.

Maurice Carney is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo. He has fought with Congolese for over twenty years in their struggle for human dignity and control of their country. Mr. Carney worked with civic associations in West Africa providing training on research methodology and survey. He served as the interim Africa working group coordinator for Reverend Jesse Jackson while he was Special Envoy to Africa. He has provided analysis on the Congo for Al Jazeera, ABC News, Democracy Now, Real News Network, Pambazuka News, All Africa News, and a host of other media outlets.

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Our New National Defense Strategy: Great Power Conflict and Arms Race

By Margaret Flower and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

The new National Defense Strategy announced last week moves from the ‘war on terror’ toward conflict with great powers. The move from military conflict against non-state actors, i.e. ‘terrorists’, to great power conflict means more military hardware, massive spending on weapons and a new arms race. We speak with Nicolas Davies and Mike Whitney about reasons for the change in defense strategy, the broad impacts it will have and how it will affect areas of conflict around the world.

 

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Relevant articles and websites:

New Defense Strategy: War with great nations and arms race by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

A National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos by Nicolas J. S. Davies

Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews by Nat Parry

Consortium News/Nicolas Davies

Turkish Invasion Pits Neocons Against Traditional Imperialists by Mike Whitney

Counter Punch/Mike Whitney

Redacted Tonight on General Mattis’ announcement of the new National Defense Strategy

 

Guests:

Nicolas “Sandy” Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He also wrote the chapter on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader, and he writes regularly for Consortium News.

Mike Whitney is a freelance writer living in Washington state. He writes for a variety of outlets on foreign policy and other issues.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (2012, AK Press).

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The Fight For Immigrant’s Rights; DACA And Beyond

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

In 2017, President Trump repealed Obama’s executive order for young immigrants, Dreamers, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allowed them temporary status in the United States. The repeal took effect in September and advocates have been fighting since then to restore DACA and pass the Dream Act, which would create a path to citizenship. We speak with two immigrant’s rights advocates, Mani Martinez of Cosecha Movement and Juan Escalante of America’s Voice, about the impacts of current immigration policies and what it would take to permanently protect immigrants in the United States.

Listen here:

Relevant articles and websites:

Cosecha Movement

United We Dream

Cosecha New Jersey Facebook Page

America’s Voice

DACA 101: What It Feels Like To Be A Dreamer, by Juan Escalante

The White House Dreamer Deal Isn’t A Compromise. It’s A Racist Ransom Note, by Juan Escalante

 

Guests:

Mani Martinez is a grassroots artist and activist with the Cosecha Movement in New Jersey. Mani also works for Popular Resistance.

Juan Escalante: With much foresight to the oncoming political violence, Juan Escalante’s parents fled Venezuela, with Juan and his two brothers in tow, for the United States in 2000. In 2006, an immigration attorney mishandled the Escalante’s case, and they lost status. After six years of legal fees and paying taxes, the Escalantes were unable to gain legal status.

By the time President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, Juan had graduated from Florida State University with a political science degree, fought (and lost) two legislative fights in support of the Dream Act, and helped organize thousands of Dreamers from all across the country. Since 2013, Juan and his brothers have been protected from deportation under DACA.

With DACA, Juan was able to return to FSU for a Master’s degree in public administration and get a job in immigration advocacy, as the Communications Manager for America’s Voice. Juan is a Tallahassee resident and a coffee fanatic.

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Jeff Session’s Assault On Mariujuana Legalization

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

Jeff Sessions, head of the Department of Justice, reversed the “Cole Memo” that allowed states to pursue marijuana legalization without fear of the federal government stepping in and prosecuting the marijuana industry. Sessions is leaving it up to each state’s federal prosecutor to decide on how to proceed. This happened just as California moved to implement legal marijuana and Vermont voted to legalize marijuana. We speak with Justin Strekal, policy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and Doug McVay, a long time advocate for drug law reform at the state and national level and editor of Drug War Facts, about what lies ahead for the movement to end marijuana prohibition.

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Relevant articles and websites:

What now? Experts and politicians weigh in on potential impact of Sessions’ rollback of marijuana policy by Alicia Wallace

Sixty-nine Members Of Congress Sign Letter To Congressional Leadership by Justin Strekal

Marijuana Law Reform Efforts Advance in States Despite a Hostile Attorney General by Kevin Mahmaliji

NORML

Drug War Facts

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Century of Lies

Guests:

Justin Strekal is the Political Director for NORML, where he serves as an advocate to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and to reform our nation’s laws to no longer treat marijuana consumers as second-class citizens. Before working on drug policy, he worked on tax, wage, and campaign finance reform as well as electoral campaigns throughout the country for positions in every level of government.

Doug McVay is the host of Century of Lies on Drug Truth Network and the editor of Drug War Facts for Common Sense for Drug Policy. He became active in NORML in college in 1983 and has been active ever since at the national level and in Oregon.

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The United States Empire Is Falling. What Does That Mean?

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG Radio. -

In his latest book, “In the Shadow of the American Century: The rise and decline of US global power,” Alfred McCoy writes about the tools used by the United States to maintain global domination and how its status is declining. McCoy predicts that China will replace the US as the dominant global power holder by 2030. We speak with him about US Empire, what the decline will look like and how it will impact people in the US and around the world.

 

Listen here:


Relevant articles and websites:

The World According to Trump; or how to build a wall and lose an empire by Alfred McCoy

In the Shadows of the American Century by Alfred McCoy

A book review of In the Shadows of the American Century by Paul Street

Ensuring Justice in the Era of Transformation by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

 

Guest:

Alfred McCoy is the Harrington Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the author of many books on the global opium trade, the CIA and its use of torture, surveillance and the Philippines. Here is his bio from the UW website:

After earning a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian history at Yale, my writing on this region has focused on two topics — Philippine political history and global opium trafficking. My first book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (New York, 1972), sparked controversy when the CIA tried to block publication. But after three English editions and translation into nine foreign languages, this study is now regarded as the “classic” work on the global drug traffic.

My more recent work on covert operations, A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror (New York, 2006), explores the agency’s half-century history of psychological torture. A film based in part on that book, “Taxi to the Darkside,” won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2008. My latest study of this topic, Torture and Impunity (Madison, 2012), explores the political and cultural dynamics of America’s post 9/11 debate over interrogation.

The Philippines remains the major focus of my research. An investigation of President Marcos’s “fake medals,” published on page one of the New York Times (January 23, 1986) just weeks before the country’s presidential elections, contributed to the country’s transition from authoritarian rule. Analyzing the many coup attempts that followed, my book Closer Than Brothers (New Haven, 1999) documents the corrosive impact of torture upon the Philippine military.

Three of my edited volumes on Philippine historiography have won that country’s National Book Award. In 2001, the Association for Asian Studies awarded me the Goodman Prize for a “deep and enduring impact on Philippine historical studies.”

My recent book, Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (Madison, 2009), draws together these two strands in my research — covert operations and modern Philippine history — to explore the transformative power of police, information, and scandal in shaping both the modern Philippine state and the U.S. internal security apparatus. In 2011, the Association for Asian Studies awarded Policing America’s Empire the George McT. Kahin Prize, describing the work as “a passionate, elegantly written book that owes its mastery to McCoy’s narrative and analytical gifts, his years of painstaking research and his sure sense of the ominous global implications of his story.”

In 2012, the Yale Graduate School Alumni Association awarded me the Wilbur Cross Medal which is presented annually to “a small number of outstanding alumni” to recognize “distinguished achievements in scholarship, teaching, academic administration, and public service.” Simultaneously, the University of Wisconsin-Madison gave me the Hilldale Award for Arts & Humanities for 2012.

My most recent book, In the Shadow of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, focuses on the key instruments in its exercise of this hegemony—including, geopolitical dominion, control of subordinate states, covert operations, worldwide surveillance, torture, and military technology. The work concludes by analyzing China’s challenge and the complex of forces that will likely lead to an eclipse of U.S. hegemony by 2030.

My teaching interests include: Modern Philippine social and political history; U.S. foreign policy; colonial empires in Southeast Asia; global illicit drug trafficking; and CIA covert operations.

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