The Monitor

News Analysis and Expert Interviews — Understand Your World

Show Details for the week of August 25, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 25, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Anti-Jewish Campaign Traced to Pro-Israeli Grad Student – an interview with Lance Tapley

  • U.S. Ranked 46th in the world by Reporters Without Borders – an interview with Delphine Halgand

More about this week’s guests:

 

Lance Tapley is an Investigative reporter for Common Dreams, Tapley just wrote an extensive piece entitled: “The Double Identity of an ‘Anti-Semitic’ Commenter: Smearing a Progressive Website to Support Israel,” which states: “Like many other news websites, Common Dreams has been plagued by inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its stories. But on Common Dreams these posts have been so frequent and intense they have driven away donors from a nonprofit dependent on reader generosity.

A Common Dreams investigation has discovered that more than a thousand of these damaging comments over the past two years were written with a deceptive purpose by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the website’s discussion of issues involving Israel. His intricate campaign, which he has admitted to Common Dreams, included posting comments by a screen name, ‘JewishProgressive,’ whose purpose was to draw attention to and denounce the anti-Semitic comments that he had written under many other screen names.

Some who have applauded the Common Dreams investigation have criticized the decision by the website not to name the perpetrator.

Tapley writes: “Common Dreams is not revealing his identity because, as a Jew who for years tricked Vanguard News Network, a major neo-Nazi website that has harbored people committed to violence, he could be put in danger by such a revelation.”

However, Ali Abunimah, founder of the ElectronicIntifada.net tweeted: “By protecting identity of this Zionist mega-troll and saboteur, @commondreams may enable him to continue his fraud.”
 
 
Delphine Halgand has been working as the Director of the Washington DC office for Reporters Without Borders since December 2011. She runs the US activities for the organization and advocates for journalists, bloggers and media rights worldwide. Acting as RWB’s spokesperson in the US, Delphine regularly appears on American (PBS, Democracy Now, Wall Street Journal,…), foreign media (BBC, Al Jazeera, NTN24,…) and lectures at conferences in US universities (Harvard University, UCLA, Yale…) on press freedom violation issues.
 
 
Previously, she served as Press attaché in charge of outreach at the French Embassy to the US. Since graduating from Sciences Po Paris with an M.A. in Journalism, Delphine has worked as an economics corespondent for various French media (Le Monde, Les Echos, L’Express,…), focusing mainly on international politics and macroeconomic issues.
 

Quote: “The United States is ranked at the 46th position in the Reporters Without Borders 2014 World Press Freedom Index. One explanation for the United States to be ranked at the 46th position: The whistleblower is the enemy. Eight alleged whistleblowers have been charged under the Espionage Act since Barack Obama became president in 2009, which is the highest number under any previous administration combined. Leaks are the lifeblood of investigative journalism, given that nearly all information related to national security is considered secret. It is safe to say that this crackdown against whistleblowers is designed to restrict all but officially approved versions of events. These developments highlight the need for a comprehensive federal shield law in the U.S. which could protect journalists’ sources at the federal level.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Show Details for the week of Augusts 18th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 18, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Was Ferguson a ‘Sundown Town’? An interview with Jim Loewen
  • Facebook’s abusive privacy practices – An interview with Evan Greer

More about this week’s guests:

Jim Loewen taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism in which he describes “Sundown Towns” as predominantly white communities in which people of color are not welcome. They are described as such because some of them posted signs at their city limits reading, typically, “Nigger, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On You In ___.” He is also the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong.
Quote: “I think Ferguson was a sundown town, based on a statement in the published history of its neighbor, Kinloch, a majority-black town, but I have not confirmed Ferguson for sure. Often former sundown suburbs, when they do ‘break,’ rapidly go majority black. Their white residents, having lived for years under the ideology that African Americans are bad and must be wholly kept from town, have an ideological reason to leave, once their town becomes interracial. All too often they sell at distressed prices to real estate intermediaries. In turn these agents can sell the homes to black families looking to buy in newly available ‘integrated’ areas for a premium.

The white families then move to a sundown suburb farther out and carry with them the contagion that ‘blacks wreck property values,’ since they sold for less than market value. Ferguson meanwhile shows symptoms of what we call ‘second generation sundown town problems,’ such as an overwhelmingly white police force that (probably) formerly employed driving-while-black-style stops.

Every former (and current) sundown town and suburb in the U.S. needs to give up the practice, explicitly and openly. That will relieve the black housing pressure so interracial towns will no longer tend to go all-black. It will also clear the air about our recent racist past, allowing locales all across the U.S. to move forward.”

Loewen is blogging at History News Network and tweeting @JamesWLoewen

Evan Greer is campaign manager for Fight For the Future and joined their team after years traveling internationally as a social justice musician and workshop facilitator. She’s been organizing creative campaigns and fighting “the Man” since high school, recently with Free Tarek and Rising Tide.

From the press release:
MENLO PARK, CA — Just one week after media reports that Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit that has already attracted more than 25,000 plaintiffs, activists from the digital rights group Fight for the Future showed up at Facebook’s corporate offices in California yesterday to hand deliver a box containing tens of thousands of petition signatures protesting the company’s abusive practices of tracking Internet users even when they are not on Facebook and conducting psychological experiments without consent.

More than 135,000 people demanded that Facebook remove them from the new tracking system, which was revealed in June. Fight for the Future called upon the company to heed their customer’s wishes and remove the signatories from the tracking system in question. The group also issued the following demands to Facebook in a cover letter included with the signatures:

We demand that Facebook:

  • End its intrusive tracking system that taps into the web activity of Internet users worldwide.
  • Inform the people affected by the psychological experiment that they were participants.
  • Refrain from conducting any similar studies and make it clear in the terms of service, data use policy, and privacy policy that these types of experiments are prohibited without informed consent.
  • Disclose if any other similar experiments have been or are being conducted.

Fight for the Future delivers 135,000 signatures to Facebook demanding an end to abusive privacy practices

image

Fight for the Future Director of Code Activism Jeff Lyon hand delivering the signatures to Facebook.

More than 135,000 Internet users call on Facebook to end intrusive tracking, data collection, and psychological experiments that violate users’ basic rights.

“With everything we’ve learned in the past year about the ways those in power have been abusing the Internet to invade our privacy, it’s no wonder that Facebook users are speaking out in droves demanding more transparency and accountability from a company that holds such a massive amount of personal information,” said Evan Greer, of Fight for the Future. “The public has spoken, companies that ignore the growing cry for privacy should only expect user protests to intensify. We are heartened to hear that Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit for their practices — the signatures that we are delivering today should be seen as further evidence of this company’s lack of concern for its users basic rights.”

The petitions that Fight for the Future delivered were launched in June in response to news reports exposing the extent of Facebook’s abusive practices. The signatures are a rejection of Facebook’s ad network expansion of their tracking system to collect web history and app data from all Internet users inside and outside Facebook. In addition, the privacy advocates also point to the June public announcement of psychological experiments conducted on 700,000 Facebook users without their informed consent. Facebook’s experiments were also revealed by Forbes to have breached its own user agreement, which was only changed to include the right to conduct research experiments four months after they were completed.

This is not the first time Facebook has run into trouble for its expansive corporate surveillance.  In 2011, the FTC ruled against the company for deceiving its users about what data it was sharing with the public, third party applications, and advertisers.

“Everyone should have the ability to use the Internet to express themselves freely. It’s not only a human rights issue but it’s fundamental for democracy and freedom of press,” added Greer, “overly invasive corporate practices like Facebook’s tracking system undermine the privacy of the web, and have a chilling effect on free speech. Facebook needs to do the right thing and start listening to their users — and in the meantime anyone concerned with privacy should move away from centralized services and toward services that are built to respect users’ human rights”

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Show Details for the week of August 11th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 11, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride comes to Texas – an interview with Alexandria Petersburg
  • CIA Spies on Investigation of CIA Torture – an interview with Ray McGovern
  • Israeli Hannibal Directive: “A Breach of Democracy and Morality” – an interview with Richard Silverstein

More about this week’s guests:

Alexandria Petersburg is “a revolutionary, organizer for Stop Patriarchy in the Bay Area, and Abortion Rights Freedom Rider.”

Background:

In 2011, Texas had 46 clinics; by September 1st there are likely to be only six left. Nation-wide, hundreds of laws restricting abortion have been passed in recent years. Six states have only one abortion clinic left.

From the StopPatriarchy website:
In August (dates to be announced soon) the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will caravan though Texas, stopping in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and then down to the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexican border. People from around the country and around Texas will politically confront and protest those behind the anti-abortion attacks and laws, rally support for those on the front lines providing abortions, fight to change the way people think about abortion  by raising the slogans: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology, and Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement — and wake people up nationwide to this emergency.

One of our main goals of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride is to change the terms of the fight around abortion. It has NEVER been about babies, it has always been about women’s enslavement or women’s liberation.

Ray McGovern is a former CIA analyst whose responsibilities included chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He just wrote the piece “Will Obama Fire CIA Director John Brennan?” available at his website: raymcgovern.com.

Background:

McClatchy reports: “An internal CIA investigation confirmed allegations that agency personnel improperly intruded into a protected database used by Senate Intelligence Committee staff to compile a scathing report on the agency’s detention and interrogation program, prompting bipartisan outrage and at least two calls for spy chief John Brennan to resign.”
Quote:
“It is inconceivable that the spying on the Senate committee happened without authorization by Director Brennan, so the question is why he did so.  Easy answer: it has been established that Brennan had, at the very least, guilty knowledge of the torture, so the stakes for him personally could not be higher.  He simply had to find out how damning the Senate report is about his own role.  Brennan’s nominal boss, National Intelligence Director James Clapper is still in place after confessing to giving the same committee on March 12, 2013 sworn testimony (about NSA collection programs) that was in Clapper’s words, “clearly erroneous.”  If President Obama does not fire Brennan, this will demonstrate that the President himself is afraid of our intelligence services – what blackmail material they may have on him and even whether they will target him, as they did John Kennedy.”
Ray’s Bio:
Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, an expression of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former co-director of the Servant Leadership School (1998-2004), he has been teaching there for 15 years.Ray came from his native New York to Washington in the early Sixties as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.In January 2003, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. On the afternoon of the day (Feb. 5, 2003) Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the UN Security Council on Iraq, VIPS sent a blunt memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which VIPS gave Powell a C minus for content. They ended the memo with this:
“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond … the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

richard silversteinRichard Silverstein has been writing Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, since February, 2003.  It focuses on exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state at Tikun Olam. He has written on security and other issues for a number of outlets and blog

Quote: “According to my highly-placed Israeli source, during Operation Protective Edge, Hannibal was invoked twice, in the cases of Sgt. Guy Levy and Lt. Hadar Goldin. In both cases, they were killed after their unit was ambushed by Gaza militants. As they were being dragged away by Hamas fighters the remaining Israeli soldiers fired on them.  In the case of Goldin, the IDF wounded him and killed the militant who was taking him away. But other fighters retreated with Goldin through a tunnel to Rafah.

The IDF proceeded to inundate Rafah with heavy artillery fire and air strikes which destroyed all ambulances and vehicles approaching the nearest hospital (where presumably the Palestinian fighters might take Goldin to treat his wounds). In this fashion, 60 Palestinians were killed in indiscriminate fire designed to kill Goldin (and his captors). At first, the IDF said Goldin may have been captured. Later they said he appeared to have been killed by examination of ‘trace amounts of DNA’ found in the tunnel. Later still, the IDF announced they’d recovered his body. He was buried the next day and no one in the media except for me asked for an autopsy to be performed to determine how he died. The IDF did not want such an examination.

The history behind Hannibal is that it was written to address the political and social trauma created when Israeli soldiers were captured by the enemy. In order to gain their freedom, Israel had to negotiate with either Hezbollah or Hamas to gain the release of their personnel. In the case of Gilad Shalit, who was held in captivity for five years, Israel released 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. The extreme Israeli right-wing complained bitterly at the ‘price’ the country had to pay for Shalit’s return, saying the freeing of ‘terrorists’ with ‘blood on their hands’ was an unforgivable act. The current right-wing government would prefer not to be seen as ‘weak’ on terror, so it accedes to a police which essentially eliminates any chance there will be future Gilad Shalits.

The IDF military censor invoked an unprecedented demand on the New York Times when it demanded that the newspaper’s reporters pre-clear any reporting on the case of Lt. Goldin. The excuse they offered was that a distant familial relation between the dead soldier and Defense Minister Bogie Yaalon might provide a security weakness for Hamas to exploit. This was a smokescreen to conceal the censor’s need to suppress any discussion of Hannibal that might expose the real events involved in Goldin’s death.

There is an unspoken agreement among the Israeli government, Israeli citizens, and even the surviving family of victims, that IDF victims under Hannibal will be treated as war heroes in return for concealing the true circumstances of their death. Only a few days ago, Gili Cohen of Haaretz described Hannibal as an attempt to free Goldin from his captors. The Israeli media knows, but cannot say, that Hannibal is invoked to eliminate captured soldiers, not to free them. It is only invoked once it is impossible to free the captive, not before. This conspiracy of silence relieves Israeli citizens of having to think about the moral issues of killing one of their own soldiers in an attempt to relieve society of the burden of negotiating with the enemy over their return.  It is an unpardonable breach of democracy and morality.”

Background:

The Hannibal Directive is a secret procedure that is invoked when an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier is captured by enemy forces. The Directive is portrayed by the Israeli media and officials in one fashion but implemented on the ground quite differently. The official version is that Hannibal allows Israeli forces to take enhanced measures to prevent the capture of its soldiers, including endangering the lives of those engaged in the capture by firing at a getaway vehicle, etc.

In practice, Hannibal is a shoot to kill order designed either to prevent abduction or to kill the abductors and IDF soldier who’s been apprehended. It was implemented during Operation Cast Lead in 2009 when a soldier was captured in a home in Gaza. Israel media reported that the IDF shelled the building, killing both the soldiers and his captors. Apparently the Hannibal Directive was invoked twice in the recent conflict, in the cases of Sgt. Guy Levy and Lt. Hadar Goldin.

Posted in 9/11, Abortion, Bradley Manning, CIA, Cyber Surveillance, Democracy, Department of Homeland Security, Empire, Hypocrisy, Israel | 1 Comment »

Show Details for the week of August 4th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on August 4, 2014


This week is your last chance to support The Monitor during this pledge drive!

This is the last Monday of KPFT’s Summer Sizzle Fund Drive! The Monitor has a goal of $800 for this week’s show. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor. You can also donate online here:

 

 

We spend the show looking at Slavko Martinov’s. Propaganda.

He describes himself as “Filmmaker. Writer. Subversive.” We talk with Slavko about his movie – Propaganda. You can pick up a copy of this movie for a pledge of $75. I have watched this movie and it is well worth your time and a pledge of support. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor.

 

From the film’s website:

 

“Presented by an anonymous North Korean professor, this anti-Western propaganda film attacks the moral attenuation, political manipulation and hyper-consumerism that characterize the Western world. In chapters with titles like “Rewriting History,” “Advertising” and “The Cult of Celebrity,” we are treated to a lineup of the most embarrassing occidental excesses and globalization, the “psychological warfare” at the hands of multinationals, shopping-obsessed consumers and the failure of democracy. Then there’s time for the “Grab it!” culture of the one percent and additional moral deterioration in the form of Paris Hilton, unethical TV shows and violent movies and games. Toward the end of this propaganda piece, the role of North Korea in all of this becomes clear: the country would like to offer itself as headquarters for the mounting fight against consumer slavery and greed worldwide.

 

Propaganda is the world’s first propumentary. It was made by Slavko Martinov in Christchurch, New Zealand, with the help of friends who worked in secret for 9 years, with zero funding, through 2 major earthquakes, 10,000 aftershocks, accusations of North Korean collusion, an investigation by the South Korean government, an interview with the Counter-Terrorism Unit, and retaliation from the Catholic Church.

 

It topped Indiewire’s top 10 films to watch out for at IDFA 2012, where it had its world premiere. This was followed by The Independent declaring it ‘The real viral hit of 2012’ and Films for Action rated it their Number One film for 2012. In 2013, it was awarded a Special Mention at the Biografilm Festival in Italy, and this was followed by the US premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival, where Michael Moore awarded it the Founders Grand Prize for Best Picture.”

 

Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor. Get yourself a copy of Propaganda for a pledge of $75.

 

 

 

moore and slavkoSlavko Martinov describes himself as “Filmmaker. Writer. Subversive.”

 

You can follow Slavko Martinov (slavkomartinov) on Twitter where he recently posted the following: “The propaganda methods used by Israel are by the book. Watch from 00:15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJw_-6H-N1k …

 

From the London Progressive Journal:

 

Slavko Martinov http://slavkomartinov.com/ has spent nine years working on one of the most original documentaries to have ever been produced about the media and manufactured consent. Propaganda http://propagandafilm.net/ took centre stage in an international debate before it was even released. The film appeared on YouTube on 18 July 2012: it was presented as a film that North Korean opponents purloined and made public to let the West see how North Korea portrays and describes the consumerist society of the Capitalist world. The documentary is presented by an anonymous professor from North Korea who takes the viewers on an eye opening journey, showing the contradictions, the lies and the truth about the world we live in.

 

 

 

 

 

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Show Details for the week of July 28th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 28, 2014


KPFT is in its Summer Sizzle Fund Drive! The Monitor has a goal of $800 for this week’s show. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor. You can also donate online here:

We have two guests on the show this week. First up is Raed Jarrar. We talk to him about the conflicting U.S. policy on Iraq and Syria where it looks like the U.S. is backing “both sides of same conflict.” The second interview is with Slavko Martinov. He describes himself as “Filmmaker. Writer. Subversive.” We talk with Slavko about his movie – Propaganda. You can pick up a copy of this movie for a pledge of $75. I have watched this movie and it is well worth your time and a pledge of support. Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor.

From the film’s website:

“Presented by an anonymous North Korean professor, this anti-Western propaganda film attacks the moral attenuation, political manipulation and hyper-consumerism that characterize the Western world. In chapters with titles like “Rewriting History,” “Advertising” and “The Cult of Celebrity,” we are treated to a lineup of the most embarrassing occidental excesses and globalization, the “psychological warfare” at the hands of multinationals, shopping-obsessed consumers and the failure of democracy. Then there’s time for the “Grab it!” culture of the one percent and additional moral deterioration in the form of Paris Hilton, unethical TV shows and violent movies and games. Toward the end of this propaganda piece, the role of North Korea in all of this becomes clear: the country would like to offer itself as headquarters for the mounting fight against consumer slavery and greed worldwide.

Propaganda is the world’s first propumentary. It was made by Slavko Martinov in Christchurch, New Zealand, with the help of friends who worked in secret for 9 years, with zero funding, through 2 major earthquakes, 10,000 aftershocks, accusations of North Korean collusion, an investigation by the South Korean government, an interview with the Counter-Terrorism Unit, and retaliation from the Catholic Church.

It topped Indiewire’s top 10 films to watch out for at IDFA 2012, where it had its world premiere. This was followed by The Independent declaring it ‘The real viral hit of 2012’ and Films for Action rated it their Number One film for 2012. In 2013, it was awarded a Special Mention at the Biografilm Festival in Italy, and this was followed by the US premiere at the Traverse City Film Festival, where Michael Moore awarded it the Founders Grand Prize for Best Picture.”

Please call 713-526-5738 during the show to support The Monitor. Get yourself a copy of Propaganda for a pledge of $75.

 

More about this week’s guests:

Raed Jarrar was born in Baghdad, the son of a Shiite mother and a Sunni father, and the oldest of three boys. He attended the University of Baghdad and began graduate school in Amman, Jordan, where he studied architecture, focusing on postwar reconstruction. He lived in Baghdad on and off under Saddam Hussein’s rule, and he experienced America’s ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign from the receiving end. After the invasion, Jarrar founded an NGO that did reconstruction work in Iraq. He worked as the country director for the first door-to-door survey of Iraqi civilian casualties conducted after the invasion. When the situation in Baghdad became unbearable, Jarrar emigrated to the U.S. and became a writer and peace activist. He translated the controversial Iraq oil law proposed by the Bush administration in 2007, and has consulted with several international humanitarian groups.”

You can follow Raed Jarrar (raedjarrar) on Twitter.

Quote: “The Obama administration requested hundreds of millions of dollars to support Syrian armed opposition groups, and other hundreds of millions to support the Iraqi government. Mainstream news coverage has overlooked the contradiction that U.S. aid is destined for opposing sides of the same conflict. In Syria, the Obama administration is arming opposition groups who support its anti-regime position — and in Iraq, the administration is taking a pro-regime position, funding and training the Iraqi government and its forces. Syrian, and now Iranian, jet fighters have been bombing targets in Iraq that have most likely been identified by U.S. intelligence. Sending more U.S. weapons and military personnel to Iraq is only complicating an already messy conflict.”

You can read a recent interview with Jarrar on “Moyers & Company”: “An Iraqi Perspective: How America’s Destruction of Iraqi Society Led to Today’s Chaos

moore and slavkoSlavko Martinov describes himself as “Filmmaker. Writer. Subversive.”

You can follow Slavko Martinov (slavkomartinov) on Twitter where he recently posted the following: “The propaganda methods used by Israel are by the book. Watch from 00:15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJw_-6H-N1k …

From the London Progressive Journal:

Slavko Martinov http://slavkomartinov.com/ has spent nine years working on one of the most original documentaries to have ever been produced about the media and manufactured consent. Propaganda http://propagandafilm.net/ took centre stage in an international debate before it was even released. The film appeared on YouTube on 18 July 2012: it was presented as a film that North Korean opponents purloined and made public to let the West see how North Korea portrays and describes the consumerist society of the Capitalist world. The documentary is presented by an anonymous professor from North Korea who takes the viewers on an eye opening journey, showing the contradictions, the lies and the truth about the world we live in.

 

 

Posted in Arab World, Gaza, Iraq, Israel, North Korea, Palestine, Propaganda, Radio Shows | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of July 21st, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 21, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Dollar Democracy: with Liberty and Justice for Some; How to Reclaim the American Dream for All – an interview with Peter Mathews
  • Gaza under attack: Getting the basics right as the corporate media gets them wrong – an interview with Robert Naiman

More about this week’s guests:

Peter Mathews has spent 30 years as a College and University Professor. Peter is a full-time Professor of Political Science at Cypress College, and an adjunct Professor of Sociology at Long Beach City College. He has taught at California State University, Fullerton, and is currently a Featured Political Analyst and Contributing Partner on the “Head-On” Radio Show on KEIB AM 1150 in Los Angeles, California. On July 3, 2014 Peter served as guest Host on KPFK radio 90.7 FM and KPFK.ORG from 3 PM to 4PM of Special Programming, calling it, “Standing up for Social and Economic Justice.” During 2012 and 2013, Peter served as a Political Analyst on KTLK Progressive Talk Radio’s popular “The David Cruz Show” in Los Angeles. Peter has served as a political analyst on KNBC-TV, KCBS-TV, KTLA-TV, CNN radio, KPFA radio and guest on KPFK radio, KPCC radio, and as a commentator on KNX News Radio and other venues. He is a contributing columnist for the Long Beach Register, and on-line Orange County Register. He has been a guest op-ed writer in the Long Beach Press Telegram, and other publications. Having lived, traveled, taught, and conducted research in 27 countries including Brazil, Britain, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Nicaragua, and elsewhere, Peter Mathews has gained firsthand knowledge of public policy issues such as healthcare, education, economic development, international relations, and environmental sustainability in these and other societies. Peter Mathews was the Democratic Party Nominee for the U.S. Congress in 1998 and ran a close race in the Long Beach, California based district, while refusing money from corporate donors. Peter Mathews moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and has been a resident of Long Beach for 23 years, where he lives with his wife Toya Baker-Mathews and daughter Page.

 

Robert Naiman is a spokesperson for Gaza Ark, whose ship was attacked on July 11th. Gaza Ark is “part of the ongoing international Freedom Flotilla Coalition challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza” imposed by Israel. Naiman — who is also policy director of Just Foreign Policy — recently wrote the article “Netanyahu’s War: What Is It Good For?” which states: “The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has launched a new war on Palestinians in Gaza, a war whose purported justifications make George W. Bush’s excuses for his illegal invasion of Iraq smell nice by comparison. So far, the United States, Netanyahu’s chief enabler, has been unwilling to stop the carnage, as it could easily do, because Washington hasn’t yet heard enough complaint from Americans not to use their tax dollars to kill children in Gaza.”

 

Posted in Arab Spring, Corporations, Debt, Democracy, Economic Inequality, Economy, Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Palestine | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of July 14th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 14, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • The Obama Immigration Plan with Todd Miller
  • Japan undoes its Pacifist Constitution with Tim Shorrock

More on this week’s guests and topics:

Todd Miller is the author of Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches From the Front Lines of Homeland Security. His work has appeared in The New York Times, TomDispatch, Mother Jones, The Nation, and NACLA among other places. You can follow him on twitter @memomiller and view more of his work at toddwmiller.wordpress.com

 

Quote: “The border enforcement regime that is in place on the U.S. border with Mexico is anything but lax. It is the most massive concentration of agents and resources that we have ever seen in the history of the United States. Never before have there been so many walls, high-powered cameras and radar, implanted motion sensors, and drones. And never before has there been an incarceration and deportation apparatus attached to this that can imprison up to 34,000 people every day, and forcibly expel an average of 400,000 people a year from the country. This does not need another cent dedicated to it. The crisis of 52,000 unaccompanied Central American children arriving to our border is correctly a ‘humanitarian’ one, and they need to be treated like refugees, not criminals. A more long-term answer to this crisis requires a much more holistic debate — which includes an honest discussion of free trade and neoliberal economic policies in Central America, and the impacts of the U.S. sponsored drug war in the region.”

Background: AP reports: “Obama is resisting calls to visit the border during his two-day fundraising trip to Texas, where he arrives late Wednesday afternoon. Instead, Obama will hold a meeting hundreds of miles away in Dallas to discuss the crisis with faith leaders and Texas officials, including Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

 

Tim Shorrock is a Washington-based investigative journalist who grew up in Japan and South Korea. He is the author of SPIES FOR HIRE: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence,

Quote: “This has been pushed heavily by U.S. administrations of both parties since the 1950s. It’s been a carefully hidden but bipartisan policy in Washington to prod Japan to expand its military role in the U.S.-Japan security alliance. It means further exploitation by the U.S. military of the island of Okinawa, where the U.S. is expanding its Marine presence, and undercuts the will of the Japanese people, thousands of whom have been demonstrating against the changes in the peace constitution. That’s a tragedy, and President Obama should be ashamed for increasing rather than decreasing militarization in Asia.”

You can follow him on twitter @TimothyS view more of his work at http://timshorrock.com/

Background: Reuters reports: “Japan takes historic step from post-war pacifism, OKs fighting for allies.”

Posted in Economic Inequality, Immigration, Japan | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of July 7th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on July 7, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Why Should a Woman’s Health Care Depend on Her Employer? The SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision – a doctor’s perspective with Elizabeth Rosenthal
  • The escalation of violence in Gaza – recent events discussed with Jennifer Loewenstein

More about this week’s guests:

Elizabeth Rosenthal is is a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. She is an executive board member of the NY Metro chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. A very experienced advocate for single payer, upon her retirement after 40 years in private practice, Dr. Rosenthal has focused her energies on the state of U.S. health care and argued for the rationale of a single payer system. She has appeared on radio and television and she helped lead a fact-finding delegation to Canada to compare the Canadian system with the US.  Dr. Rosenthal received in medical degree from New York University’s School of Medicine.

Quote: “If we had a single-payer health care system instead of our current employer-based health insurance, this question would be moot. Women would not be at the mercy of their employer to get access to family planning services and contraceptive care.”

 


Jennifer Loewenstein is  Faculty associate in Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Loewenstein has spent extensive time in Gaza including witnessing attacks. She is now in touch with human rights groups there.

Quote: “More than three times the number of the Israeli youths murdered near Hebron were murdered by the Israeli military in its terrorist rampage across the West Bank since the three [Israeli youths] went missing. But we will never see the handsome photos and bios of the dead Palestinians because they are ‘human animals’ according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unworthy of our grief. … Israel has been dying to arrest many of those it freed in deals over the last year or so, especially those connected to the Gilad Shalit case. … Clashes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood are growing more violent after the murder of a Palestinian teen by the Israeli military there. He was innocent of any crime. … Israel is already taking ‘justice’ into its own hands without any proof, real trial, or legal punishment of the accused. The accused teens’ families have already had their homes destroyed.”

In the story “Is Israel Preparing New Military Offensive against Gaza?“, the Real News reports “Israel is punishing Gaza despite no evidence that shows Hamas was responsible for the deaths of the Israeli teenagers.”

Posted in Health Care Reform, Israel, Palestine, Single Payer, The Supreme Court, Your Body | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of June 30th, 2014

Posted by themonitor on June 30, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Economic Direct Democracy – an interview with John Boik
  • The Kurdish question and its impact on the situation in Iraq – an interview with Edmund Ghareeb

More about this week’s guests:

John Boik is the founder of the Principled Societies Project and author of the new book (published June 2014) “Economic Direct Democracy: A Framework to End Poverty and Maximize Well-Being.” The book is available via Amazon and other retailers, and a free PDF version can be downloaded from the Principled Societies Project website. “Economic Direct Democracy” is a book-length proposal for transforming local economies into sustainable, democratic systems. In it, I describe a novel local economic framework that represents a synthesis of approaches already in use in some cities around the world. The framework builds on ideas from buy-local, invest-local, local-currency, local-food, local-sharing, open-source, open-government, open-data, participatory democracy, and related community development, knowledge transfer, and decision-making initiatives. The framework is intended to empower communities to strengthen local economies and take meaningful action on infrastructure repair, debt, income inequality, health care, climate change, environmental degradation, and other issues of importance.

The proposal is beginning to gain traction. John is now forming a partnership with the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa in order to further develop the framework. Our intention is to establish a large multicenter project with additional academic, civil society, and foundation partners in the developed and developing world.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 3.42.43 PMEdmund Ghareeb is an internationally recognized expert on the Kurds and on Iraq. He was the first Mustafa Barzani Scholar of Global Kurdish Studies at the Center for Global Peace at American University. He formerly taught at George Washington University. His books include The Historical Dictionary of Iraq (co-authored with Beth Dougherty), The Kurdish Question in IraqThe Kurdish Nationalist Movement and War in the Gulf which he co-authored with Majid Khadduri.

Quote: “The 21st Century is likely to be the Kurdish century in the Middle East. There is both great opportunity right now for the Kurds, perhaps the greatest in recent history — and serious threats. The taking of Kirkuk is a critical event that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves because of ISIS’s advance. Kirkuk is especially significant for both economic reasons (oil) and cultural ones. Rival Kurdish, Turkuman and Arab claims to Kirkuk add to the complexity and volatility of the situation. Some Turkuman leaders who have in recent history looked to Turkey for protection have warned that if Kirkuk is not returned to the central government they are willing to fight for it. For the Kurds, control of Kirkuk and its oil would make the Kurdish region financially independent from Baghdad which has withheld money over a long-running dispute over the control of energy resources. It would also make an independent Kurdish state economically viable if the Kurds decide to make that decision. Baghdad has threatened to bring legal action against Turkey at the International Court of Arbitration. Turkey, which has it problems with the Maliki government, has been willing to help the KRG for economic and political reasons. It also seeks KRG help with its own rebellious Kurds and hopes to diversify its energy sources. The weakening of the Iraqi state and other changes on the ground may be a great opportunity for the Kurds to fulfill their dream of independence. In the past, divisions and overplaying their hand have been disastrous for Kurdish aspirations. … The arrival of ISIS puts pressure on the borders of the Kurdish region and in disputed areas and poses great new dangers. It threatens to bring violence, insecurity and large numbers of refugees to the generally stable Kurdish region. Limited clashes have recently occurred between the two sides. The KRG in Iraq has recently been exporting oil through Turkey in preparation for the moment when Iraqi Kurds may opt for independence. Oil revenue would make the Kurdish state economically viable. Such a decision is not likely to be viewed with favor in neighboring Iran and Turkey. Iran and Turkey have their own restive Kurdish populations who may want to emulate their brethren in Iraq. Turkey has over 20 million Kurds while Iran has about nine million. Cooperation with Turkey on oil exploration and the building of a pipeline through Turkey to carry it to external markets has been beneficial to the governments of Turkey and the Kurdish region. The Turkish government has been silent on Kirkuk. In the past it took a strong stance against such a Kurdish advance, in part because of concern for the Turkuman. It is possible that oil changed that equation. Given the Iraqi government’s weakness, it can’t do much to dissuade Turkey from exploring for oil in the Kurdish region, or on building oil pipelines through Turkey and in selling the oil imported from the KRG. However, there are Turkish critics of Prime Minister Erdoğan who argue that he is being very short sighted: if there can be an independent Kurdish state in what is now Iraq with 5 million Kurds, then why not one in what is now Turkey with over 20 million Kurds? The KRG has denied reports that it sold oil to Israel. That is another risk on their part — such a move could have negative consequences with Arabs that could come back to haunt the Kurds. Keep in mind that even within Iraq, Kurds are hardly homogeneous. Some Kurdish youth, especially from around Halabja, have actually joined or allied with ISIS. This is for several reasons: This is an especially religiously conservative area historically and of course, Kurds are mostly Sunni. You had Kurds from the area join in the ‘Afghan Arabs’ fighting in Afghanistan in the 80s. In addition, this area has not benefited economically and you have a great deal of unemployment among the youth. So there’s a confluence of events — a possible confrontation with ISIS even as the Kurdish-Shia alliance is fraying and there may be an opening in Sunni-Kurdish relations. Kurdish leaders face hard choices, which are likely to affect the country’s survival as a unified state. They can opt to work with other Iraqis to build a democratic and stable Iraq or to go their own way. Either choice will have significant impact for Iraq and the region.”

Posted in Arab World, Corporations, Debt, Democracy, Economic Inequality, Economy, Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Turkey | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of June 23rd, 2014

Posted by themonitor on June 23, 2014


On The Monitor this week:

  • Nomi Prins on her new book All the Presidents’ Bankers
  • Ross Caputi on ‘serving’ in the Military and the current situation in Iraq

More on this week’s guests:

Nomi Prins

Nomi Prins is a renowned journalist, author and speaker. Her most recent book, All the Presidents’ Bankers, a groundbreaking narrative about the relationships of presidents to key bankers over the past century will be out April 8, 2014. Her last book was a historical novel about the 1929 crash, Black Tuesday. Before that, she wrote the hard-hitting, acclaimed book, It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street (Wiley, September, 2009/October 2010). She is also the author of Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (The New Press, October 2004) which predicted the current financial crisis, and was chosen as a Best Book of 2004 by The Economist, Barron’s and The Library Journal, and Jacked (Polipoint Press, Sept. 2006).

She has appeared on numerous TV programs: internationally for BBC, RtTV, and nationally for CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, CSPAN, Democracy Now, Fox and PBS. She has been featured on hundreds of radio shows globally including for CNNRadio, Marketplace, NPR, BBC, and Canadian Programming. She has featured in numerous documentaries shot by international production companies, alongside prominent thought-leaders, and Nobel Prize winners.

Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, Fortune, Newsday, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Truthdig, The Guardian UK, The Nation, Alternet, NY Daily News, LaVanguardia, and other publications.

Her engaging key-note speeches are thoughtfully tailored, and she has spoken at venues including the Purdue University/Sinai Forum, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Forum, Ohio State University Law School, Columbia University, Pepperdine Graudate School of Business, Environmental Grantmakers Association, NASS Spinal Surgeons Conference, and the Mexican Senate.

She is a member of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) Federal Reserve Reform Advisory Council, and listed as one of America’s TopWonks.

Nomi received her BS in Mathematics from SUNY Purchase, and MS in Statistics from New York University, where she completed all of the required coursework for a PhD in Statistics. Before becoming a journalist, Nomi worked on Wall Street as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, ran the international analytics group as a senior managing director at Bear Stearns in London, and worked as a strategist at Lehman Brothers and an analyst at the Chase Manhattan Bank.

She is currenty a Senior Fellow at the non-partisan public policy think-tank,  Demos and on the advisory board of exposefacts.org

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Ross Caputi

Ross Caputi is a former US marine, having served from 2003 to 2006. He took part in the second siege of Fallujah in November 2004. He became openly critical of the military and was discharged in 2006. Ross holds an MA in linguistics and is the founding director of the Justice for Fallujah Project. and is on the board of directors of ISLAH (Arabic for “repair” or “reform”). He is also the director of the documentary film Fear Not the Path of Truth: a veteran’s journey after Fallujah.

Recent writings:

I helped destroy Falluja in 2004. I won’t be complicit again

Unthinkable Thoughts in the Debate About ISIS in Iraq

Which states in part: “One year ago ISIS was concentrated in Syria, with almost no presence in Iraq. During this time, a nonviolent protest movement, which called itself the Iraqi Spring, was in full swing with widespread support in the Sunni provinces and significant support from the Shia provinces as well. This movement set up nonviolent protest camps in many cities throughout Iraq for nearly the entire year of 2013. They articulated a set of demands calling for an end to the marginalization of Sunnis within the new Iraqi democracy, reform of an anti-terrorism law that was being used label political dissent as terrorism, abolition of the death penalty, an end to corruption, and they positioned themselves against federalism and sectarianism too. Instead of making concessions to the protesters and defusing their rage, Prime Minister Maliki mocked their demands and chose to use military force to attack them on numerous occasions. Over the course of a year, the protesters were assaulted, murdered, and their leaders were assassinated, but they remained true to their adopted tactic of nonviolence. That is, until Prime Minister Maliki sent security forces to clear the protest camps in Fallujah and Ramadi in December of 2013. At that point the protestors lost hope in the tactic of nonviolence and turned to armed resistance instead. It is important to note that from the beginning it was the tribal militias who took the lead in the fight against the Iraqi government. ISIS arrived a day later to aid Fallujans in their fight, but also to piggy-back on the success of the tribal fighters in order to promote their own political goals. …While publicly criticizing the Maliki government’s sectarian policies, the U.S. has been aiding and facilitating” the Maliki government. Caputi added: “The impunity of the Maliki government is never questioned in the debate raging within the U.S. It is simply unimaginable within the limits of this debate that Maliki might be held accountable for the war crimes his regime has committed against his own people.”

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Arab Spring, Arab World, Armed Forces, Banks, Corporations, Cost of War, Drones, Economic Inequality, Economy, Empire, Iran, Iraq, Offshore Banking, Sub-Prime Loans, Taxes, The "War on Terror", The Economy, The Fed, The Market, Wall Street | Leave a Comment »

 
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