The Monitor

News Analysis and Expert Interviews — Understand Your World

Show Details for the week of March 23rd, 2015

Posted by themonitor on March 23, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

  • Houston-based company Crestwood Midstream Partners plans to store natural gas and butane in New York salt caverns. We discuss the possible dangers with Jeremy Alderson
  • Is Google unfairly censoring internet content? We talk with Eric Garris of Antiwar.com.

More about this week’s guests:

Jeremy Alderson was the editor and publisher of the No Frack Almanac, an anti-fracking newspaper pubished in New York. He was also the first person arrested of now more than 200 who have committed civil disobedience trying to stop the Crestwood gas-storage project.

You can read more about the issue here: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/about-inergy/

In Reading, New York, 2 miles north of Watkin’s Glen on the west shoreline of Seneca Lake, Crestwood plans to store millions of barrels of liquid petroleum gases (propane and butane; so-called LPG) in depleted salt caverns. Crestwood also plans to expand existing natural gas storage in the caverns through its wholly owned subsidiary, Arlington Gas Storage. As the corporation boasts to investors, Crestwood’s stated goal is to transform the Finger Lakes Region into a “gas storage and transportation hub” for the entire Northeast.

Narrowly defined, the Arlington expansion project will fill two interconnected salt caverns—no longer used for mining salt—with compressed natural gas (methane), thus increasing the working gas capacity at this site by a third. But additional expansions are envisioned for the future, with many other empty lakeside salt caverns targeted.

Eric Garris is Founder and director of Antiwar.com, Garris just wrote the piece “Google Doubles Down: Demands Review of All Antiwar.com Content,” which states: “On Wednesday morning (3/18/15), Google AdSense suspended ad delivery to Antiwar.com demanding that we remove our 11-year-old pages that showed the abuse by U.S. soldiers of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib. We publicized this and got a bit of coverage. [See in Gawker: ‘Google Suspends Site from Ad Network for Abu Ghraib Photo.”]

“Yesterday [Thursday] Google contacted us and told us that they had given in and would be restoring ad service to Antiwar.com shortly.

“However, this morning [Friday] they contacted us demanding that we remove this article.

“Antiwar.com has no intention of allowing Google to dictate our content. We are looking into alternate sources of advertising and will not likely be working with Google AdSense in the future.”

Posted in Climate Change, Cyber Surveillance | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of March 16th, 2015

Posted by themonitor on March 16, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

  • Ray McGovern on CIA Director Brennan’s reorganization plan and “Obama going to school.”
  • Jim Lobe on Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Kristol and the Corker Bill

More about this week’s guests:

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, whose duties included preparing the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He now works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.

On Friday March 6th (Fridays are the best days to release news and avoid scrutiny) a plan by CIA head John Brennan to restructure the agency was made public. Much of the major media portrayed it as a reform to make Americans safer: The New York Times headline read: “CIA to Be Overhauled to Fight Modern Threats.” However, many CIA veterans argue that it is a step toward further politicization of intelligence

McGovern is among the signers to a just released, posted at ConsortiumNews.com: “U.S. Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s Plan to Restructure CIA,” which takes the form of a memo to the President: “Mr. President, The CIA reorganization plan announced by Director John Brennan on Friday is a potentially deadly blow to the objective, fact-based intelligence needed to support fully informed decisions on foreign policy. We suggest turning this danger into an opportunity to create an independent entity for CIA intelligence analysis immune from the operational demands of the ‘war on terror.’

“On Feb. 5, 2003, immediately after Colin Powell’s address to the UN, members of VIPS sent our first VIPS memorandum, urging President George W. Bush to widen the policy debate ‘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.’

“The ‘former senior officers’ whom Brennan asked for input on the restructuring plan are a similar closed, blinkered circle, as is the ‘outstanding group of officers from across the Agency’ picked by Brennan to look at the Agency’s mission and future. He did not include any of the intelligence community dissidents and alumni who fought against the disastrous politicization of intelligence before the attack on Iraq. Nor does Brennan’s plan reflect the lessons learned from that debacle. …

“President Harry Truman wanted an agency structure able to meet a president’s need for ‘the most accurate … information on what’s going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots.’ In an op-ed appearing in the Washington Post exactly one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Truman added, ‘I have been disturbed by … the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment … and has become an operational and at times policy-making arm of the Government.’ …

“You are fully aware, we trust, that our analysts’ vaunted ethos of speaking unvarnished truth to power was corrupted by Director George Tenet and Deputy Director John McLaughlin, who outdid themselves in carrying out the instructions of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The new ethos boiled down to this: If the President wants to paint Iraq as a strategic threat, it is our job to come up with the ‘evidence’ — even if it needs to be manufactured out of whole cloth (or forged, as in ‘yellowcake uranium from Africa’ caper). …

“There is hope to be drawn from those occasions where senior intelligence officials with integrity can step in, show courageous example, and — despite multiple indignities and pitfalls in the system — can force the truth to the surface. We hope that you have been made aware that, after the no-WMD-anywhere debacle on Iraq, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence Thomas Fingar did precisely that during 2007, supervising a watershed National Intelligence Estimate on Iran that concluded unanimously, ‘with high confidence,’ that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003.

“President Bush concedes in his memoir that this put the kibosh on his and Dick Cheney’s earlier plan to attack Iran during their last year in office. So, character (as in Fingar) counts, and people of integrity can make a difference — and even help thwart plans for war — even in the most politicized of circumstances.”

Website:

http://www.raymcgovern.com/

Recent articles:

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/09/us-intel-vets-oppose-brennans-cia-plan/

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/14/guiding-obama-into-global-make-believe/

 

Jim Lobe is The Washington Bureau Chief of the international news agency, Inter Press Service, Jim Lobe is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy.

Quote:

“If Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) wasn’t the face of GOP Iran hawks, he is now. His letter making common cause with Iran’s hardliners to scuttle a nuclear deal puts Cotton, along with his 46 Republican co-signatories, in uncharted territory. …

“Cotton’s rise to prominence didn’t come cheap and required friends with very deep pockets. His Senate campaign cost $13.9 million, and some of his biggest campaign contributions came from far outside his home state of Arkansas. That doesn’t include the nearly $1 million contribution in supportive political advertising made by Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel in the closing days of Cotton’s Senate campaign, as has already been reported here. …

“Paul Singer’s New York-based Elliot Management hedge fund … went on to become the second biggest source of direct contributions to Cotton’s Senate campaign after the pro-business Club for Growth.

“Singer, Sheldon Adelson, and Dan Senor are recurring characters in efforts to blow up diplomacy with Iran.

“Both Singer and Adelson, who famously recommended a first-strike nuclear attack on Iran to send the message that the U.S. is serious about dismantling the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, are huge donors to a series of hawkish think tanks.

“Between 2008 and 2011, the two billionaires made combined contributions of $5.1 million to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies—a hard-line neoconservative think tank some of whose associates have advocated bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities in addition to waging ‘economic warfare’ against the regime.”

For further background, see Lobe’s piece “Republicans Overreach: Part Deux.”

Recent articles:

Posted in Armed Forces, CIA, Iran, Israel, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Ray McGovern | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of March 9th, 2015

Posted by themonitor on March 9, 2015


On The Monitor this week – The Climate: What is at stake? Can humans survive? We will be exploring these questions with David Ray Griffin.

More about this week’s guest:

David Ray Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University (1973-2004); Co-Director, Center for Process Studies. He edited the SUNY Series in Constructive Postmodern Thought (1987-2004), which published 31 volumes. He has written 28 books, edited 13 books, and authored 248 articles and chapters. His most recent book is Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis?

This book combines (1) the most extensive treatment of the causes and phenomena of climate change in combination with (2) an extensive treatment of social obstacles and challenges (fossil-fuel funded denialism, media failure,political failure, and moral, religious, and economic challenges), (3) the most extensive treatment of the needed transition from fossil-fuel energy to clean energy, and (4) the most extensive treatment of mobilization. It provides the most complete, most up-to-date treatment of the various kinds of clean energy, and how they could combine to provide 70% clean energy by 2035 and 100% before 2050 (both U.S. and worldwide).

“If you can read only one book on climate change, make it this one…clear and comprehensive…a masterful depiction of the severe dangers and our best available escape routes. If reading this book does not change your life, nothing will.” — Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur/Reporter

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental Activism, Fracking, Keystone XL, Oil | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of March 2nd, 2015

Posted by themonitor on March 2, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

  • They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind. How the U.S. trained Muslim terrorists at least as far back as 30 years ago and how this impacts us today – an interview with J. Michael Springmann

Normally our show is divided into two interview segments after the news headlines. This week however we spend the balance of the show with a single guest – J. Michael Springmann, a career official with both the Commerce and State departments. He was economic/commercial officer in Stuttgart (1977–1980), a commercial attaché in New Delhi (1980–1982), a visa officer in Jeddah (1987–1989), a political/economic officer in Stuttgart (1989–1991), and, finally, an economic analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1991). He recently published the book Visas for Al Qaedea: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World.

Quote: “During the 1980s, the CIA recruited and trained Muslim operatives to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, the CIA would move those operatives from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and then to Iraq, Libya, and Syria, traveling on illegal US visas. These US-backed and trained fighters would morph into an organization that is synonymous with jihadist terrorism: al-Qaeda.”

From the book description:

“Thousands of American soldiers and civil servants have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Innocent citizens of many nations, including Americans killed on 9/11, have also paid the ultimate price. While the US government claims to stand against terror, this same government refuses to acknowledge its role in creating what has become a deadly international quagmire. Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World sets the record straight by laying the blame on high-ranking US government officials.

During the 1980s, the CIA recruited and trained Muslim operatives to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, the CIA would move those operatives from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and then to Iraq, Libya, and Syria, traveling on illegal US visas. These US-backed and trained fighters would morph into an organization that is synonymous with jihadist terrorism: al-Qaeda.

J. Michael Springmann, a former US diplomat, names individuals and organizations that deny culpability. He analyzes the effects of a nebulous war on the US economy and infrastructure. After thirteen bloody years, Springmann exposes hypocrisy and deceit wrapped in a sullied flag of patriotism and honor.”

Reflections on the 911 Terrorist Attacks, Washington Examiner, September 10, 2011, Michael Springmann , former head of the Visa Bureau at the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah , Saudi Arabia said that he was repeatedly ordered by high-level State Department officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. His complaints to higher authorities at several agencies went unanswered. In a CBC interview, he indicated that the CIA was indeed complicit in the attacks.

Posted in 2001: Repercussions, 9/11, Arab Spring, Arab World, Armed Forces, Assassination, CIA, Cost of War, Department of Homeland Security, Intelligence, Saudi Arabia, The "War on Terror" | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of February 23rd, 2015

Posted by themonitor on February 23, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

  • What does ISIS really want and how should people try to analyze the group’s extreme positions? We talk with Jennifer Loewenstein about two recent articles dealing with the topic.
  • Documents reveal that the U.S. government helped Israel acquire nuclear weapons. What are the political implications? We talk with Grant Smith who obtained the documents.

More about this week’s guests:
Jennifer Loewenstein is  Faculty associate in Middle East Studies and Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Loewenstein has followed news of ISIS closely and joins us to comment on the media narrative surrounding the group. She has also recently written about the topic – Holding Ourselves Hostage to History: Burnt Offering

Quote: “Too few people, I fear, will understand that the monstrous activities of ISIS will continue, if not increase, as long as the former colonial and imperial powers of the West, Japan, and their Arab allies –all of them run by tyrants and dictators beholden to or in league with US state power and seeking “security” — persist in their attempts to shape and control the destiny of the Middle East.

It nevertheless seems likely that however long the infernal activities of ISIS continue, ISIS itself – like so many other extremist and fanatical organizations past and present – will eventually destroy itself from within. Public opinion worldwide, above all in the Middle East, is overwhelmingly opposed to the use of such depraved, barbaric tactics. Everywhere, especially where terror like this reigns day and night, people fear and abhor it. Ultimately, the core leaders of ISIS and groups similar to it, will fall upon their own swords and then be devoured, however savagely, by the populations most directly affected by their brutality.

We start the discussion with an assessment of the arguments in an article published by The Atlantic that has been very widely circulated: What ISIS Really Wants

 

Photo By Bill Hughes

Grant Smith, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). It is a nonprofit organization that “studies US-Middle East policy formulation. Founded in 2002, the Institute became an independent private non-profit tax-exempt organization in 2003. IRmep’s Center for Policy & Law Enforcement examines how balanced and vigorous law enforcement can improve trade, economic development and America’s international standing. IRmep‘s Israel Lobby Archive documents and provides citizen access to initiatives of one of the most harmful forces driving policy formulation in the US political process.”

Courthouse News reports: “In the midst of controversy over the Israeli prime minister’s plans to address Congress next month, a researcher has won the release of a decades-old Defense Department report detailing the U.S. government’s extensive help to Israel in that nation’s development of a nuclear bomb. “I am struck by the degree of cooperation on specialized war making devices between Israel and the U.S.,’ said Roger Mattson, a former member of the Atomic Energy Commission technical staff. The 1987 report, ‘Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,’ compares the key Israeli facilities developing nuclear weapons to Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, the principal U.S. laboratories that developed the bomb for the United States.The tightly held report notes that the Israelis are ‘developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.’ The release comes after Grant Smith, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy filed a FOIA request last year and followed with a lawsuit in September seeking to compel release of the report. The government fought to delay release of the 386-page report in hearings before Judge Tanya Chutkan in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who expressed skepticism with the government’s reasons for refusing to provide a single unclassified document. The report’s release this week has substantial political ramifications.”

 

Posted in Arab World, Armed Forces, CIA, Cost of War, Cyber Surveillance, Cyber Warfare, Dictatorship, Elections, ISIS, Islam, Israel, Nuclear Weapons, Radio Shows, The New Middle East, UN Resolutions, War Reporting | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of February 16th, 2015

Posted by themonitor on February 16, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

  • Mathew Hoh on the futility and likely counterproductive results of U.S. military action against ISIS/ISIL
  • Bruce Fein on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)

More about this week’s guests:

Matthew Hoh is the Former director of the Afghanistan Study Group, Hoh is a former Marine and State Department official. In 2009 he resigned from his post with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of U.S. strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan (Washington Post, front page, “U.S. Official Resigns Over Afghan War,” October 27, 2009).

 

Quote: I am in opposition to the US being involved militarily in the civil wars in Iraq and Syria, as I foresee the results being the same as previous US interventions: escalation of the wars, mass suffering of the Iraqi and Syrian people, and a waste of American lives and treasury. Despite the Administration’s claims, this authorization is not limited, it simply pushes the decision for the US to remain at war in Iraq and Syria to the next president; it allows for ground troops, just not “enduring” ground troops, an incredibly subjective description; and it offers no path to peace and reconciliation in Iraq and Syria, just the promise of Americans killing and dying in the middle of two civil wars. In its coda the authorization does repeal the 2002 authorization for President Bush to invade Iraq, which is the genesis of these wars and of the Islamic State, but rather than serving as a cautionary historical blunder to protect our leaders from repeating a tragedy, it simply is written as a preceding and out dated legal necessity.

 

Bruce Fein

Bruce Fein, who served as deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and is author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy he was also general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission under President Reagan, is president of the law firm Bruce Fein & Associates Inc. at www.brucefeinlaw.com. He also is the author of “American Empire Before the Fall”

Recent article: Only Rand Paul can save us

Quote: Of all the Democratic or Republican presidential aspirants for 2016, only U.S. Sen. Rand Paul can save us from ruination born of perpetual, purposeless, unfunded global wars and limitless presidential power. Only the Kentucky senator grasps like President George Washington that entangling alliances are the fathers of danger and debt, not safety and security. Only he salutes President Thomas Jefferson’s foreign policy of “[P]eace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” Only Mr. Paul understands like James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, that war is the nurse of executive aggrandizement that cripples the Constitution’s checks and balances.

Posted in Arab World, Armed Forces, Bush, Cheney, Drones, Empire, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Obama, Syria, Taliban, The "War on Terror", Torture, Yemen | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of February 9th, 2015

Posted by themonitor on February 9, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

  • The Super Bowl has been played and while the outcome on the field has been discussed by a lot of people the economic impact has not. Our first interview is with Neil deMause. We will talk about The Super Bowl Windfall Myth.
  • Our second guest will be Chris Hedges. I’ve been meaning to get Chris on the show for a long time. He is one of the few people whose work I read on a consistent basis. He recently wrote an article about one of my favorite American historical figures – Malcolm X. That will be the starting point of our conversation.

More about this week’s guests:

Neil deMause runs the stadium news website Field of Schemes, and co-authored the book of the same name. He wrote the piece “It’s the Local Economy, Stupid!” for Sports on Earth.

His most recent piece is “The Super Bowl Windfall Myth” for FAIR, which states: “With Super Bowl Sunday approaching, expect plenty of media reports on the projected economic windfall for host city Glendale, Arizona. Last year, when the NFL announced that its big game would provide a $600 million boost to the New York/New Jersey economy, that figure promptly became a fixture in news coverage of the event (CNN, 1/24/14; Newsday, 1/22/14; FoxNews.com, 5/21/14). …

“Never mind that numerous economists have looked in vain for any evidence that Super Bowl host cities strike it rich. In one study, Holy Cross economist Victor Matheson (12/09) calculated that through 2001, the average increase in economic activity during each Super Bowl was about $30 million. Lake Forest College economist Robert Baade has found similar numbers, telling the Associated Press (1/27/14) that you could ‘move the decimal point one place to the left’ on the NFL’s claims and still have ‘a generous appraisal of what the Super Bowl generates.’

“And that’s economic activity, the total amount of money changing hands within city limits — not the amount that comes back to city coffers. When University of Maryland economist Dennis Coates (International Journal of Sport Finance, 2006) studied the 2004 Super Bowl, he found that added sales tax revenues in host Houston totaled about $5 million — well under the $30 million to $70 million that cities spend on increased police presence and other services for the game (USA Today, 1/25/15).

“Economists have provided similarly dismal results for other sporting events, with major sporting events failing to make a dent in everything from local sales tax receipts to per capita income. (One study of sports strikes and lockouts failed to find any measurable impact on local economies even when local teams shut down entirely.) The most likely explanation: Increased spending on sports is largely balanced by reduced spending on other entertainment options, and even new spending quickly leaks out of the local economy into the pockets of out-of-town sports leagues.”

 

Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. In 2011, Nation Books published a collection of Hedges’ Truthdig columns called “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”

Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011. The LAPC also granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists”.
Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto. He currently teaches prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey.

The interview on The Monitor this week starts with a discussion of Chris’s recent article Malcolm X Was Right About America

 

Posted in 2001: Repercussions, Cost of War, Drones, Economic Inequality, Economy, Empire, Radio Shows, Sports, War Reporting | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of February 2nd, 2015

Posted by themonitor on February 2, 2015


On The Monitor this week:

More about this week’s guests:

Roy Eidelson is a clinical psychologist and the president of Eidelson Consulting, where he studies, writes about, and consults on the role of psychological issues in political, organizational, and group conflict settings. He is a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, associate director of the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at Bryn Mawr College, and a member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. He recently wrote the article Rejecting the Obama-Cheney Alliance Against Torture Prosecutions

Quote: “Cheney and Obama are unlikely allies but they have regrettably linked arms here. In their joint discounting of government-sponsored brutality, Cheney’s torture tolerance and Obama’s torture tolerance-lite represent a formidable front against calls for criminal prosecutions and justice. With such unity, perhaps it is unsurprising that national polls throughout the past decade – from one administration to the next – have consistently shown that many Americans support the use of torture.”

 

Doug Gurian-Sherman is director of sustainable agriculture and senior scientist at the Center for Food Safety. He brought to light the relevant government documents. See the group’s recent statement: “New Genetically Engineered Tree To Avoid Federal Oversight Completely,” which notes: “A genetically engineered (GE) tree may already be planted in field tests, and eventually be commercialized, in the U.S. without having gone through any regulatory oversight or environmental risk assessment. On January 13th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) quietly posted its August reply to a letter from ArborGen, a biotechnology company that is developing GE forest trees for plantations, confirming that USDA will require no regulation of ArborGen’s GE loblolly pine.”This failure to regulate a GE tree is unprecedented. Other known GE forest trees in the U.S. are being grown in USDA-regulated field trials, and none has been approved for commercial planting. USDA regulation is important because it ensures that risk assessments are carried out to determine whether or not the GE tree will harm the environment before a decision on its commercialization. …

“’We are outraged at USDA’s complete abandonment of regulatory authority,’ said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. ‘This GE tree has the potential to contaminate natural forests and impact whole ecosystems.  We are exploring legal options to stop the dissemination of ArborGen’s unregulated GE loblolly pine, and to see that it and future GE trees are subject to the serious regulation and transparent risk assessment the public deserves.'”

    Doug Gurian-Sherman also just wrote “The Next Phase of Genetic Engineering: A Flood of New Crops Evading Environmental Regulation,” in which he states the USDA “is deliberately thumbing its nose at the public by refusing to enact the regulations it has been authorized to use.”

Posted in 2001: Repercussions, 9/11, Armed Forces, Bees, Bush, Cheney, CIA, Cost of War, Democrat Corruption, Department of Homeland Security, DOJ, GE, Genetic Engineering, GOP Corruption, Obama, Sustainable Agriculture, The "War on Terror", The Constitution, Torture | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of January 26th, 2015

Posted by themonitor on January 26, 2015


This is the final week of KPFT’s pledge drive. The Monitor has a goal of $1,250. Please call the station during the show and pledge your support for The Monitor. The number is 713.526.5738 (713.JAM.KPFT). You can also pledge online at www.kpft.org

We have one guest this week – Costas Panayotakis and we will be talking with him about the recent election results in Greece.

Costas Panayotakis is professor of sociology at the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York and author of Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy.  He has written extensively on Greece and has appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows around the world

Quote:
“The result of the Greek election is a resounding rejection of the austerity policies that have had devastating economic and social consequences. Having received over 35 percent of the vote, Syriza, Greece’s leading party of the anti-austerity left, is poised to form a government in coalition with a smaller party of the anti-austerity right and to challenge the austerity policies imposed throughout the eurozone. In so doing, the Greek election could prove an important turning point, further fueling the rise of anti-austerity forces of the left in Spain, Ireland and beyond.”

See prior article “The Eurozone Fiasco” and Democracy Imperiled: The Greek Political Crisis by Costas Panayotakis.

During this pledge drive, You can still pick up a copy of Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America  for a pledge of $120 ($10 per month).

About the book:

Rory Fanning – TomDispatch regular, walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2008-2009, following two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion. Fanning became a conscientious objector after his second tour. 

Pat Tillman’s death by friendly fire was covered up just days before his comrade Rory Fanning—who served in the same unit as Tillman—left the Army Rangers as a conscientious objector. Disquieted by his tours in Afghanistan, Fanning sets out to honor Tillman’s legacy by crossing the United States on foot.

Told with page-turning style, humor, and warmth, Worth Fighting For explores the emotional and social consequences of rejecting the mission of one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. It is only through the generous, and colorful people Fanning meets and the history he discovers that he learns to live again.

Posted in Austerity, Democracy, Elections, Greece | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Show Details for the week of January 19th, 2015

Posted by themonitor on January 19, 2015


This is the first week of KPFT’s pledge drive. The Monitor has a goal of $1,250. Please call the station during the show and pledge your support for The Monitor. The number is 713.526.5738 (713.JAM.KPFT). You can also pledge online at www.kpft.org

We have one guest this week – Rory Fanninga TomDispatch regular, walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2008-2009, following two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion. Fanning became a conscientious objector after his second tour. He is the author of Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America  You can get a copy of his book – Worth Fighting For- for a pledge of $120 ($10 per month).

About the book:

Pat Tillman’s death by friendly fire was covered up just days before his comrade Rory Fanning—who served in the same unit as Tillman—left the Army Rangers as a conscientious objector. Disquieted by his tours in Afghanistan, Fanning sets out to honor Tillman’s legacy by crossing the United States on foot.

Told with page-turning style, humor, and warmth, Worth Fighting For explores the emotional and social consequences of rejecting the mission of one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. It is only through the generous, and colorful people Fanning meets and the history he discovers that he learns to live again.

 

Rory Fanning walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2008–2009, following two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion. He is a housing activist living in Chicago, Illinois and the author of the forthcoming book, Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America (Haymarket, 2014). Rory has a recent article out titled Letter to a Young Army Ranger (From an Old One) Why the War on Terror Shouldn’t Be Your Battle.
In part, Rory writes:

Dear Aspiring Ranger,

You’ve probably just graduated from high school and you’ve undoubtedly already signed an Option 40 contract guaranteeing you a shot at the Ranger indoctrination program (R.I.P.).  If you make it through R.I.P. you’ll surely be sent off to fight in the Global War on Terror.  You’ll be part of what I often heard called “the tip of the spear.”

The war you’re heading into has been going on for a remarkably long time. Imagine this: you were five years old when I was first deployed to Afghanistan in 2002. Now I’m graying a bit, losing a little up top, and I have a family.  Believe me, it goes faster than you expect.

Once you get to a certain age, you can’t help thinking about the decisions you made (or that, in a sense, were made for you) when you were younger. I do that and someday you will, too.  Reflecting on my own years in the 75th Ranger regiment, at a moment when the war you’ll find yourself immersed in was just beginning, I’ve tried to jot down a few of the things they don’t tell you at the recruiting office or in the pro-military Hollywood movies that may have influenced your decision to join. Maybe my experience will give you a perspective you haven’t considered.

I imagine you’re entering the military for the same reason just about everyone volunteers: it felt like your only option. Maybe it was money, or a judge, or a need for a rite of passage, or the end of athletic stardom. Maybe you still believe that the U.S. is fighting for freedom and democracy around the world and in existential danger from “the terrorists.” Maybe it seems like the only reasonable thing to do: defend our country against terrorism.

The media has been a powerful propaganda tool when it comes to promoting that image, despite the fact that, as a civilian, you were more likely to be killed by a toddler than a terrorist.  I trust you don’t want regrets when you’re older and that you commendably want to do something meaningful with your life. I’m sure you hope to be the best at something.  That’s why you signed up to be a Ranger.

Recent Articles:

Rory Fanning, Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops?

Friendly? All Deaths Are Shameful in a War That Shouldn’t Be

 

Get your copy of Rory Fanning’s Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America  with your pledge of $120 ($10 per month). The number to call is 713.526.5738 (713.JAM.KPFT). You can also pledge online at www.kpft.org

Posted in 2001: Repercussions, 9/11, Afghanistan, Arab World, Armed Forces, Cost of War | Leave a Comment »

 
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