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Tune in to Loud and Clear with Brian Becker for the latest news, commentary and searing political analysis. We bring you independent experts, activists and political writers.

Brian Becker


    • Aug 31, 2020 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from Loud & Clear

    Trump's Election Strategy Stimulates Right Wing Militia Mobilization

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2020 120:13

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books, including “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis,” and his latest book, which is called “The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism and Capitalism in the Long 16th Century.”Protests continued over the weekend across the country against racist police violence in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. President Trump focused in on Portland and threatened to send federal troops to the city. Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United States are nearing 6 million, with more than 183,000 deaths. President Trump, though, retweeted a story saying that there were only 9,000 Covid deaths. That was one of 89 tweets that he released in a barrage between 5:49 am and 8:04 am on Sunday. In other tweets, he called for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to be arrested and he threatened a military takeover of Portlands, Oregon, saying that protestors there were organizing a coup to overthrow him. Ted Rall, an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. Greece and Turkey are gearing up for yet another armed conflict. Turkish president Erdogan appears to be lashing out at his neighbors Greece, Cyprus, Syria, and even Libya, and he is warning Greece, Cyprus, and Israel that oil exploration in the Mediterranean will be a causus belli for Turkey. At the same time, Turkish fighter jets violate Greek airspace on a daily basis, Turkish warships are in the Aegean Sea off the coast of the Greek islands, and Greece has called up its military reserves to prepare for war. Brian and John speak with Dr. Gönül Tol, the founding director of The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies, and a former professor who has taught courses on Islamist movements in Western Europe, Turkey, world politics, and the Middle East. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including ongoing anti-racism protests and Trump’s threat of a renewed federal crackdown, the 2020 election, and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

    57 Years After the March on Washington: White Supremacists Rise Again

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 28, 2020 119:00

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination last night, the RNC event as a whole, the vigilante who killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the professional sports strikes going on this week, and more. In a presidential nomination acceptance speech as dark and angry as any ever given, President Trump last night said that Joe Biden, if elected president, would destroy the nation and would cede it to anarchists, extreme leftists, looters, rioters, and criminals. He said that Biden would destroy America’s suburbs, apparently by allowing African-Americans to live there, and he ridiculously accused Biden of “ignoring science.” Pundits are calling the speech, “a grinding monotone” and “low energy.” Others are calling it “one of the most sustained displays of propagandizing in the modern history of Western democracy.” Lee Camp, a writer, comedian, activist, journalist, host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” on RT America, whose latest book is called “Bullet Points & Punch Lines,” and who’s at leecamp.com, joins the show. China yesterday fired a barrage of missiles into the South China Sea in response to rising tensions with the United States. The US, for its part, has repeatedly sent ships into the South China Sea, has improved relations with Taiwan, Beijing’s arch-rival, and initiated an arms race with China. President Trump says that he’s the man to shepherd relations with China into a new, more militarized, era. But is that just a recipe for war? Brian and John speak with Mike Wong, the Vice President of the San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace. Prominent Indian civil liberties defender Prashant Bhushan defended himself from possible imprisonment for insulting the country’s Supreme Court this week, the latest in what activists say is a wave of repressive actions by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Draconian new laws, such as the Public Safety Act, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, and tight internet curbs have resulted in real pressure on the most basic civil rights like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Dr. Ania Loomba, a literary scholar and the Catherine Bryson professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania who teaches English literature and early modern culture and the history of colonialism and postcolonialism in South Asia, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

    Did the Police Give a Wink and Nod to Kenosha Shooter?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2020 115:12

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including the strike by professional athletes in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the struggle for justice for Jacob Blake, the Republican National Convention and more.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues. Professional basketball is in turmoil, but for all the right reasons. NBA playoff teams went on strike yesterday to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI. Blake had broken up a fight between two women, but then police shot him in the back seven times as he entered his car and while his children screamed in the back seat. The protest began in the Milwaukee Bucks-Orlando Magic game and quickly spread to other playoff teams. All NBA games are now canceled, and the protest has spread with the WNBA, MLB and professional tennis. Even sports journalists and commentators have walked off the job. Jamarl Thomas, host of the show Fault Lines, on Radio Sputnik every Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and host of the show Progressive Soapbox, joins the show. Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was likely poisoned according to doctors in a Berlin hospital where he is being treated, though the exact substance has not yet been identified. Navalny fell ill during a trip to Siberia and was medically evacuated on Saturday. We’ll discuss this controversy and the effect it’s having on Russian politics. Brian and John speak with Bryan Macdonald, a journalist who specializes in Eastern Europe and Russia. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

    After Police Shooting of Jacob Blake, Two Protesters Shot Dead

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2020 119:04

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books, including “Blows Against the Empire: U.S. Imperialism in Crisis.”Two protesters were killed and one injured last night in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in ongoing demonstrations against police shooting Jacob Blake in the back. The shooter, who was part of a vigilante group, has now been arrested and charged with murder. The police’s bullets went through Blake’s spinal cord and severed it, and Blake is now being paralyzed from the waist down. The governor of Wisconsin has declared an emergency called in hundreds of National Guard soldiers. The Republican National Convention last night was more like a presidential press conference, mostly located at the White House, featuring Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking from Jerusalem on a diplomatic trip, and with a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens. What does last night’s theatrics say about the state of democracy in the U.S.? Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. Workers from across the country are converging on Washington, D.C. tomorrow at noon to hold a march on the mansion of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos -- the richest person in the world. They will demand that Amazon take a range of measures to protect employees from the Coronavirus pandemic. Brian speaks with Chris Smalls, founder of The Congress of Essential Workers and organizer of tomorrow’s march on Jeff Bezos’ mansion. Chris Smalls was fired by Amazon after organizing his fellow warehouse workers in New York City to demand health protections amid the pandemic. Israel fired on Hezbollah observation posts yesterday in Lebanon, escalating the conflict between the two countries. Israel’s air attacks against Lebanon went on in the same week that Israel has increased the attacks and the siege on Gaza, where two million Palestinians are living on just four hours of electricity a day. Dan Cohen, a journalist and a documentary filmmaker, most recently of the film Killing Gaza, joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

    Stocks Soar...And So Does Unemployment and Hunger

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2020 118:26

    Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Yesterday saw Day 1 of the Republican National Convention. And although the likes of Breitbart, the One America Network, and other right wing media lauded the evening as the single best day in the history of Republican politics, the mainstream media condemned it as a hate-filled night of half-truths and outright lies about President Trump’s record. Democratic nominee Joe Biden got no bump in the polls from his convention. How will Americans react to Donald Trump’s week in the limelight? Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War,” joins the show. Last Thursday, the US notified the U.N. Security Council that it would demand a reimposition of all previous U.N. sanctions against Iran under Resolution 2231. The Trump administration cited what it called significant violations of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which the United States withdrew in May 2018. All Security Council sanctions against the country were lifted under Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear deal. Less than 24 hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo submitted the notice to the Security Council, 13 of the council’s 15 members expressed opposition to US efforts to reimpose the sanctions. They said that because the Trump administration had withdrawn from the agreement, it had no right to invoke the deal to return the sanctions. Meanwhile, Pompeo is in Bahrain as part of his Middle East tour to shore up opposition to Iran and support for the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Brian and John speak with Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society, with today’s special edition dedicated to the militant struggle for the right to vote for all women. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

    Protests Rage After Police Shoot Man in Front of His Kids in Wisconsin

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2020 120:14

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Kofi Ademola, an activist and organizer with the Black Lives Matter movement.Police over the weekend shot two more black men, killing one, and anti-police violence protests have begun anew. 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin was shot from behind in Lafayette, LA at a gas station. In Kenosha, WI, Jacob Blake remains in stable condition after being shot in the back as many as seven times. A video shows Blake walking around his SUV and trying to enter it while a police officer tries to pull him out, and then opens fire while Blakes children scream in the back seat. It is unclear how many police officers fired, and an investigation is underway. The number of new coronavirus cases across the country are down, as mask rules are being more stringently enforced, school districts are closing en masse, and doctors begin using a new plasma treatment. But a Hong Kong man is the first person known to be infected with the coronavirus twice, indicating that antibodies are either short-lived or are not a protection against the disease. Dr. Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor of viral pathogenesis at the University of Manitoba and Canada Research Chair in molecular pathogenesis of emerging and reemerging viruses, joins the show. Democrats have completed their virtual nominating convention and have formally nominated Joe Biden to be president of the United States. The Republicans will have their turn beginning tonight. The RNC lineup is filled with nods to the far right and the president’s so-called “law and order” campaign messaging. Biden is leading in the polls, but Trump is hitting the campaign trail while Biden retreats to his home out of the public eye, and Republican strategists are counting on the enthusiasm gap to overcome their weak position in the polls. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist whose work is at www.rall.com. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the Republican National Convention, the political effect of the Democrats’ convention, the latest on Coronavirus, protests against racist police violence, and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

    The Modern Day Pirates

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 14, 2020 115:34

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran.The US military announced last night that Iran had briefly seized a Liberian-flagged oil tanker near the Straits of Hormuz. The ship was released five hours later. But today, Trump Administration officials say they have seized gas and oil from four Iranian tankers on their way to Venezuela. The Administration is also seeking the legal forfeiture of the ships and cargo in federal court. Tehran, however, is calling the reports fake news and is saying that no such seizures have taken place. The Trump Administration is launching a historically unprecedented attack on the US postal service in order to prevent or to hamper voting by mail. The Postmaster General, a Trump appointee, has ordered that sorting machines be removed by postal facilities to slow the mail process, and that mailboxes be removed from street corners and other public places. Constitutional attorneys say that the president’s move is patently illegal and that the Constitution gives the states sole discretion over how to conduct elections, even presidential elections. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show. The governments of Israel and the United Arab Emirates came to a historic peace agreement yesterday, apparently brokered by the Trump Administration. Israel will open an embassy in Abu Dhabi and the UAE will open an embassy in Tel Aviv. At the same time, Israel will end its plans to annex Palestinian territory. Egypt and Bahrain cheered the move and congratulated both sides. Iran and Turkey called the deal “a stab in the back of Muslims,” and all Palestinian political factions denounced the tmove as a maneuver to normalize the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Brian and John speak with Tamara Nassar, associate editor of Electronic Intifada. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the selection of Kamala Harris to be Joe Biden’s running mate, the spread of the pandemic especially among children, stalled efforts by Congress to pass a stimulus package, the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell join the show.

    Cops & Politicians Demand Long Prison Sentences for Protesters

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 13, 2020 119:30

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Aislinn Pulley, an organizer with the Black Lives Matter movement.Protestors in Bend, Oregon last night were sprayed by ICE agents with pepper spray, the use of tear gas has resumed in Portland and activists are denouncing what appears to be a coordinated crackdown. Meanwhile, protests and police attacks continued in Richmond, Chicago and elsewhere, and cops and politicians are demanding heavier and heavier charges and elsewhere. Presumptive Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris appeared together yesterday for the first time since Harris joined the ticket. Harris gave a speech outlining the differences between the Democratic and Republican tickets, while President Trump responded by calling Harris “mean” and “a nasty woman.” And what can we expect in terms of the political relationship between Biden and Harris, considering that many don’t expect Biden to complete a full term in office? Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, and Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

    Where Does Kamala Harris Stand on Police, Prisons & Pentagon?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2020 117:02

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Margaret Kimberley, an activist, columnist, and author, whose latest book is called “Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents,” and KJ Noh, a San Francisco activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia, and a frequent contributor to Counterpunch and Dissident Voice.Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden yesterday chose California Senator Kamala Harris to be his vice presidential running mate. Harris is the first African-American and Indian-American woman to appear on a major-party ticket. But not everybody is celebrating. Harris is a former prosecutor and state Attorney General, and she is responsible for imprisoning thousands of people under California’s drug laws. She has a conservative voting record on foreign affairs and issues of war and peace. And leaders of Wall Street banks are telling their clients that there is now no cause to worry about a Biden win in November. Covid-19 continues to spread through recently reopened schools, especially in the southern United States. Many school districts there reopened two weeks ago, only to see thousands of new infections and then to close again. Meanwhile, cruise ship employees say that after passengers departed, they were stranded on the ships for months. Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician and vice chair of the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Global Health Committee, joins the show. Large-scale protests continue in Bolivia against the decision by the coup-installed government of the country to once again postpone elections. As strikes and roadblocks bring the country to a standstill, right-wing paramilitary groups are being mobilized by pro-coup forces to violently repress demonstrators. Brian and John speak with Arnold August, a journalist, the author of three books on Cuba, Latin America, and US foreign policy, and a Fellow at the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

    Fury at Police Violence Reaches Boiling Point in Chicago

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2020 117:11

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Kofi Ademola, an activist and organizer with the Black Lives Matter movement.Protests continued overnight and over the past weekend in both Portland and Chicago, and Chicago saw intense clashes, resulting in more than 100 arrests. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced today that Russian scientists have developed a vaccine for the coronavirus and that it has received regulatory approval after two months of testing on humans. Frontline medical professionals will be the first to receive the vaccine, and Putin’s own daughter already has received it. Russian doctors plan to begin mass vaccinations in October. Bryan Macdonald, a journalist who specializes in Eastern Europe and Russia, joins the show. Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism,” joins the show.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

    Editors or Censors? The Hidden Hand Behind Wikipedia

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2020 118:20

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Max Blumenthal, a bestselling author and journalist who is senior editor of The Grayzone and co-host of the podcast “Moderate Rebels.”Four days ago, Twitter announced that it would begin identifying what it calls “state sponsors of information” on the platform. What that means is that when Sputnik, RT, Telesur, or any number of similar outlets post a tweet, Twitter will add a tag saying that the information comes from a foreign government. The implication is that reads should take what they read with a grain of salt. But the warning label will not be attached to tweets and news from the BBC, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, Radio or TV Marti, or the Voice of America, all of which are government owned and operated. Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are still at loggerheads when it comes to a new coronavirus stimulus package. So President Trump this weekend took matters into his own hands. In a move that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called “absurdly unconstitutional” and that was even condemned by the conservative Wall Street Journal, Trump issued executive orders this weekend that cuts the payroll tax, deferrs student loans, and provides Americans with an unemployment supplement of $400 a week. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “The Scourge of Neo-Liberalism: US policy from Reagan to Trump,” joins the show. We continue our segment “Education for Liberation” where we look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Brian and John speak with Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and author, and host of the new podcast: “Under the Tree: A Seminar on Freedom with Bill Ayers” In The Week Ahead, the panel looks at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world including Trump’s executive orders on Coronavirus relief, the spread of the pandemic among children, and more. Walter Smolarek, Sputnik News analyst and one of the producers of Loud & Clear, joins the show. We continue our weekly half hour segment Technology Rules—a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the National Surveillance State are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa, and Patricia Gorky, a software engineer and technology and security analyst, joins Brian and John.

    Millions Face Long Term Unemployment and Homelessness

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 7, 2020 114:52

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall. He’s an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist and you can check out his work at www.rall.com.Discussions between the White House and Congressional Democrats on a coronavirus relief package are on the brink of collapse, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now saying that there may be light at the end of the tunnel, but that light may be an oncoming train. Even after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell relented on continuing the $600 weekly supplement for the unemployed, the White House and Democrats are so far apart that no coronavirus aid bill is expected at least through the weekend. President Trump yesterday issued executive orders that would ban popular apps TikTok and WeChat from operating in the United States if they are not sold to a US company in the next 45 days. The Wall Street Journal says that the executive orders are unprecedented in American history. Trump earlier in the week told Microsoft’s CEO that if the company buys TikTok, he expects “a great deal of money to go to the Treasury.” That, too, is unprecedented. John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations, joins the show. Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima, Japan. And Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The bombings killed as many as 226,000 people, almost all of whom were civilians. Even after 75 years, these two attacks are the only times that any country in the world has detonated a nuclear weapon against another. Brian and John speak with Greg Mello, the Executive Director of the Los Alamos Study Group. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog. Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the huge number of coronavirus cases and deaths, the problem US media has with Russia getting to a vaccine quickly, Biden’s comments about the African American community not being diverse, and more. Brian and John speak with Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

    Congress Fiddles While the Unemployed Burn Through Life Savings

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 6, 2020 117:49

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Pete Dolack, an activist and writer with Trade Justice New York Metro, who focuses on human rights, social justice, and environmental and trade issues and is the author of “It’s Not Over, Learning from the Socialist Experiment.”The so-called economic recovery has hit a roadblock with another 1.2 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits in the past week. And at the end of the week, the government’s $600 bonus to the unemployed expired. Meanwhile, farm bankruptcies rose eight percent over last year, a number that is lower than expected because of federal intervention. And in Washington, Democrats in the House and Republicans in the Senate are apparently no closer to a compromise on a new coronavirus relief bill than they were a week ago. New York Attorney General Leticia James tweeted last night that she would make a major national announcement today at 12:45. Well, she made that announcement. And it was that she would charge the National Rifle Association, the NRA, as a criminal organization. The Attorney General alleges that the NRA and four of its top executives mismanaged funds and violated both state and federal laws, resulting in a loss of more than $64 million over the past three years. Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

    Behind the Beirut Explosions

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2020 115:51

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Rania Khalek, a journalist and political activist whose work has appeared in The Nation, The Intercept, Aljazeera, Salon, VICE, and elsewhere.Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, experienced a massive explosion yesterday that killed at least 100 people and wounded more than 4,000. The government said that a warehouse containing ammonium nitrate, the same compound that was used in the Oklahoma City bombing, was ignited after a neighboring warehouse containing fireworks or some similar explosives, caught fire. Many countries around the world have offered assistance, but aid will not help with the broken political system and dysfunctional government that allowed the accident to happen. Races in Missouri and Kansas saw upsets yesterday for both parties, as Rep. Lacy Clay, who replaced his father in a congressional seat in St. Louis, was ousted by progressive activist Cori Bush. Missouri voters also approved a referendum that would implement that toughest anti-abortion rules in the country. In Kansas, former Secretary of State Kris Kobach was defeated in the Republican primary for US Senate, virtually ensuring that the Republicans will retain the seat. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration sued the state of Nevada yesterday over the issue of voting by mail. Ted Rall, an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs, of COHA, yesterday published a report saying that a recently leaked document from USAID, the Agency for International Development, provides a glimpse into the breadth and depth of the US government’s policy and plan to interfere in Nicaragua’s internal affairs up to and after its presidential election next year. The Trump Administration’s policy in Nicaragua has been a simple one: to overthrow the government of President Daniel Ortega. Brian and John speak with Jill Clark-Gollub, assistant editor and translator at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. There is no national testing plan for the coronavirus and no plans to implement one. As a result, seven states recently banded together to create their own. Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan negotiated the deal, which includes two other Republicans and four Democrats, when the White House refused to recommend national standards to combat the disease. They’ve already negotiated a deal with a testing company that can conduct a Covid test and provide results in 30 minutes. Dr. Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor of viral pathogenesis at the University of Manitoba and Canada Research Chair in molecular pathogenesis of emerging and reemerging viruses, joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, and special guest Ian Zabarte, Principal Man of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Indians, the secretary of the Native Community Action Council, at NativeCommunityActionCouncil.org, and a leading voice nationally against the Yucca Mountain dump, join the show.

    Mass Evictions Are On The Way For Millions of American Working Families

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2020 117:04

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Professor Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism.”Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest Prof. Wolff.Several states have primary elections today with heavily contested races. In Kansas, former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an immigration hardliner and failed candidate for governor, is now running for a Senate seat that has been Republican for 66 years. And in Michigan, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is facing a stiff challenge from former Rep. Brenda Jones, an African-American woman. Meanwhile, Joe Biden still has not made a decision on his Vice President, with six vetted candidates still in the running. Biden apparently will now make a decision late this week or early next week. And concerns are growing over the political turmoil that could come from long delays counting mail-in ballots. Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare. He is a journalist and author of three books--The Frozen Republic, The Velvet Coup, and America's Undeclared War.The coronavirus continues to spread, with 35 states across the country logging more cases last week than the week before. President Trump, however, is insistent that schools reopen. With that said, some governors are ignoring the president and are ordering that students return to school online only. And in an interview yesterday with the news outlet Axios, the president insisted that the United States has the best coronavirus record in the world. Max Blumenthal, a bestselling author and journalist, whose latest film is “Killing Gaza.” He is also the senior editor of Grayzone and co-host of the podcast “Moderate Rebels,” joins the show.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; special guest, Moira Casados-Cassidy, a member of the board of directors in the Denver Classroom Teachers Association; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

    Attack on TikTok: US Relies on Economic Gangsterism Not "Free Market"

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2020 117:51

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations.Microsoft CEO spoke with President Trump recently about its desire to purchase TikTok. Trump last week said that he would seek to ban TikTok, one of the most popular apps in the world, saying that it secretly collected data and sent it to China. Is the Microsoft CEO in favor of political gangsterism over the infamous free market that corporations usually espouse? Congress and the Trump Administration are so far apart on another Covid relief bill that there is no chance of an agreement. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that she and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have not agreed on any major points that would be in a bill. They are farthest apart on direct aid to the unemployed, with Mnuchin saying that he would not support any bill that pays people to stay home doing nothing. Meanwhile, the coronavirus continues to spread quickly around the country with nearly 155,000 Americans dead and tens of millions remain unemployed. Lee Camp, a writer, comedian, activist, journalist, and host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” on RT America, and his latest book is called “Bullet Points & Punch Lines,” available at leecamp.com, joins the show. The Russian government announced over the weekend that it would begin a coronavirus vaccination program in October, the first country to do so. But rather than optimism or support, the media is fearmongering about the vaccine, equating speed with haphazard safety protocols. Indeed, some outlets are comparing the Russian vaccine to Sputnik, the first man-made satellite in space. And the media are doing the same thing with news of an upcoming Chinese vaccine. Brian and John speak with Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Chicago Teachers Union member and activist Nick Stender joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world. Sputnik News analyst and producer of this show Nicole Roussell joins the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology joins the show.

    Delay the Election? Trump's Trial Balloon Is Shot Down

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 31, 2020 115:30

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer, the author of the book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World,” and Sputnik News analyst and producer Nicole Roussell.Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the government’s coronavirus response; the Vietnamese government’s coronavirus response; the waning access to healthcare as millions lose their jobs; labor unions’ effects on healthcare access; the federal, state, and local police agreement in Portland; the renewed attempts to crush and privatize the post office, and more. The withdrawal of federal agents from frontline policing of demonstrations in downtown Portland significantly reduced tensions in the city overnight. Protesters in support of Black Lives Matter rallied near the federal courthouse that became a flashpoint with federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Bureau of Prisons. But in the absence of those federal agents, the night passed peacefully. President Trump says the federal agents will be redeployed to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee. Eugene Puryear, an author, activist and host of the new program BreakThrough News, joins the show. The 16th century was an era when the roots of slavery, white supremacy, and capitalism became inextricably tangled into a complex history involving war and revolts in Europe and the conquest of the Americas by European settler colonialism. Colonial powers fought each to dominate the land, labor and resources for what was later dubbed the New World. They also invoked god and religion giving these initial conflicts a strong element of religious war. Brian and John speak with Dr. Gerald Horne, the author of a new book, his latest book titled: “The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism and Capitalism in the Long 16th Century.” It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

    What Is Trump’s Real Game Plan with “Election Delay” Tweet

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2020 117:18

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including President Trump's idea to delay elections and what it might portend, the state of unemployment this week, the testimony of the tech monopolies CEO’s yesterday, and more.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space, today focusing on the multiple missions to Mars launched in the last week, including the US launch today. Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.President Trump wrote a provocative tweet this morning, wondering aloud if the November presidential election should be postponed “until people can properly, securely, and safely vote.” Without any evidence whatsoever, the president said the November election will be “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA.” The Commerce Department today reported that Gross Domestic Product shrank by 9.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, and at an annualized rate of 32.9 percent, easily a record in the history of the country. Although most economists say the second quarter numbers are a disaster, they are unlikely to be this bad in the third of fourth quarters, even if the nascent recovery has been thrown into jeopardy. Meanwhile, 1.4 million people filed for unemployment last week, the second week in a row with more than a million applications. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “The Scourge of Neo-Liberalism: US Policy from Reagan to Trump,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.

    US Officials Blame Russia for COVID Confusion in US...Not Trump

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2020 111:43

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”The spread of Covid-19 is worse in the United States than it is in any other country in the world. And the US has more deaths than any other country. Why is this the case? Is it because we have no national policy on masks? Or because governors reopened their states too early? No. It’s because of the Russians. The Associated Press reported today that Russian intelligence services are using three English-language websites to spread disinformation about Covid. The US Intelligence Community has just declassified the information so that we can talk about it in advance of the US presidential election.The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are testifying before a House antitrust subcommittee today about whether their companies have too much power. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in his first-ever Congressional testimony, began the hearing saying that he was raised by a single mother and adoptive father and that he created Amazon 26 years ago from nothing. He and the others argued that they are not monopolies and are the only companies large enough to hold off Chinese ventures. Ted Rall, an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist, whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show. An unmarked Kia van drove up to a crowd of protestors yesterday in New York City, at least five men jumped out, they grabbed a protestor, threw them in the van, and drove off. The men, it turns out, were New York police officers. But it appears they’ve learned these new tactics, which is little more than kidnapping, from the federal agents sent to Portland and elsewhere. And the protestor, we now know, was facing five misdemeanor counts of damaging a police camera. Meanwhile, the F.B.I.’s No. 2, declared the demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd “a national crisis,” and wrote that in addition to investigating what he called “violent protesters, instigators” and “inciters,” bureau leaders should collect information with “robust social media exploitation teams” and examine what appeared to be “highly organized behavior.” He also suggested that the bureau make use of the Hobbs Act, put into place in the 1940s to punish racketeering in labor groups, to charge the protesters. Brian and John speak with Heidi Boghosian, the executive director of the A. J. Muste Memorial Institute and the former Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild. The Trump Administration announced yesterday that it would continue to reject all new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, and it would shorten renewals for the more than 600,000 immigrants already enrolled in the program while the government conducts a review. The move comes after the Supreme Court earlier this summer blocked the Trump Administration’s attempts to end the program, which shields young immigrants brought to this country without documentation from deportation. Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement, joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

    Biden’s VP Choices: Neocon War Hawk or Prosecutor?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2020 116:45

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ajamu Baraka, the National Organizer, Black Alliance for Peace and a longtime human rights activist, organizer, and political activist, and the 2016 Green Party nominee for Vice President of the United States.Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is going to make his vice presidential pick soon, maybe as early as this coming weekend. But all of them are pro-war candidates, many with ties to the racist policing that millions are protesting.Attorney General William Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee this morning, his first such testimony since being named Attorney General. Testimony focused on the federal crackdown on protests, and the aftermath of the Russiagate campaign. Julie Hurwitz, a civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James, and Vice President of the Michigan chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, joins the show.Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism,” joins the show. Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

    Police & Vigilantes Carry Out Attacks Against Anti-Racist Protesters

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2020 113:41

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Lillian House, an organizer with the Denver Liberation Center and has been deeply involved in protests across Colorado.In Denver, Colorado, this weekend, two white men drove a Jeep at top speed, possibly as high as 80 miles an hour, into a crowd of people protesting racist police violence, severely injuring several people. The police found the culprits who attempted to murder and maim these protesters, but reportedly let them go. In a similar racist attack, the driver who drove his car into an anti-racism protest in Austin, Texas, shot and killed an activist who tried to stop the car. Senate Republicans have finalized their version of a new stimulus bill to address the fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic. Under the plan, the enhancement to unemployment benefits would be slashed, and a major push is underway to shield corporations from legal consequences if their employees get sick. The bill also includes another round of one-time checks equivalent to those disbursed under the CARES Act. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins the show. Tesla owner Elon Musk caused outrage over the weekend by apparently admitting that his company’s demand for lithium played a role in the coup against democratically-elected Bolivian president Evo Morales. Musk tweeted, “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” This comes as the de-facto government of Jeanine Añez postpones the election once again as the candidate of Morales’ party leads in the polls.Brian and John speak with Patricio Zamorano, an academic and international analyst and Co-Director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, COHA, Ollie Vargas, a Bolivian journalist and writer who has contributed to teleSUR, Morning Star, and other media outlets. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation” is about at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Rick Ayers, a professor of education at the University of San Francisco and author, joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the expiring coronavirus unemployment insurance, the bipartisan military spending bill larger than the next 8 countries’ military budgets combined, Julian Assange in court today, and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

    China Hits Back After Trump Evicts Consulate in Houston

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 24, 2020 117:11

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Trump’s reversal in his approach to the pandemic, the latest US moves and escalation of rhetoric against China, the federal police crackdown on anti-racism protesters, the 2020 presidential election, and more. Today, China ordered the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu, in response to the Trump Administration’s closure of China’s consulate in Houston, Texas, for which they cited alleged Chinese theft of US intellectual property. The move was a serious escalation in the tit-for-tat between the US and China. KJ Noh, a peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia, and a frequent contributor to Counterpunch and Dissident Voice, joins the show. President Trump said yesterday that he would send federal agents into Chicago, Albuquerque, and Kansas City as part of what he’s calling “Operation Legend.” In Portland, these agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Bureau of Prisons, have harassed peaceful protestors, they’ve snatched demonstrators off the streets into unmarked rental cars, and they’ve detained protestors without charge. Mayors and governors are up in arms, and they’ve filed multiple lawsuits against the administration. But the president is undaunted. Brian and John speak with Wyatt Reed, the producer of By Any Means Necessary, which is on Radio Sputnik every weekday from 2pm to 4pm. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell. The corporate media make a lot of the work being done internationally by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We routinely see news reports about the Foundation’s involvement in the development of a vaccine for Covid-19, for example. But the Gates Foundation is leading the charge in privatizing global public health policy. Michele Greenstein, a journalist and the author of “Why the Bill Gates Global Health Empire Promises More Empire and Less Public Health,” at The Grayzone, and the producer of a series on the technology war between the U.S. and China and a documentary from the field on 2019’s anti-government movement in Hong Kong.

    The Staggering Number of Jobless Americans Is Growing Every Day

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 23, 2020 115:30

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US policy from Reagan to Trump,” at www.jackrasmus.com.1.4 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week, the first increase in months, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the labor market. Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate came closer to a unified position on a new stimulus package. They scrapped the president’s demand for a payroll tax cut, but they also proposed dramatically lower benefits for the unemployed. President Trump yesterday threatened to send federal agents to cities all around America, ostensibly to protect federal buildings. We know from what we’ve seen in Portland, Oregon, though, that these agents are perpetrating violence on peaceful and unarmed protestors. The agents appear to be from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Bureau of Prisons. They are dressed in military fatigues and they don’t wear nameplates or insignia. And they’ve been snatching people off the streets, throwing them into unmarked vehicles, and detaining them without charge. Dari Rodriguez, an organizer with the Bronx Justice Center, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show. Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

    Trump Shuts Down China's Consulate in Houston, Escalating Confrontation

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 22, 2020 117:08

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China, and an award-winning resident columnist with several Chinese media organizations.The Trump Administration today ordered China to close its consulate in Houston amid deteriorating relations between the two countries. China denounced the move as “an unprecedented escalation.” The State Department said the closure is punishment for the Chinese theft of American intellectual property. President Trump yesterday reinstated Covid-19 medical briefings from the White House press room. But instead of Drs. Fauci or Birx leading the event, the president appeared by himself. Trump had a moment of clarity when he said that Covid-19 infections would get worse before they get better, and indeed, more than 1,000 people died yesterday for the first time in 50 days. And Trump has begun wearing a mask after saying that they were unpatriotic. Ted Rall, an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist and you can check out his work at www.rall.com, joins the show. Federal agents wearing military fatigues but no name tags or identifying insignia have been snatching protestors off the streets of Portland in rented black vans, and they are now reported to be in Chicago. President Trump said that he will send these agents, who are apparently from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Bureau of Prisons, to any city in America where protestors are damaging statues or property. But civil libertarians are crying foul and say that there are serious constitutional violations being committed. Brian and John speak with Medea Benjamin, a legendary peace activist and the co-founder of the peace group Code Pink. The White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill are in disarray over a Covid-19 spending plan just as benefits from the last bill are set to expire. The Washington Post reports that the White House and Congressional Republicans can’t even agree on policy goals, spending parameters, or even deadlines. And there’s not yet even talk about reconciling whatever the Republican bill will look like before it’s reconciled with the Democrats’ bill. Pete Dolack, an activist and writer with Trade Justice New York Metro, who focuses on human rights, social justice, and environmental and trade issues and the author of “It’s Not Over, Learning from the Socialist Experiment,” joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

    Democrats Give Even More Power & Money to Trump in NDAA Vote

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2020 119:27

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Lee Camp, a writer, comedian, activist, journalist, and host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” on RT America, and his latest book is called “Bullet Points & Punch Lines,” which you can find at leecamp.com.An annual Washington ritual has begun again. That’s debate and passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. But this year it’s more ominous. While much of the defense-related press focuses on money for troops in Germany or additional destroyers in Spain, the measure also authorizes and funds military action against American citizens in American cities. We’ve seen it in Portland. Chicago is next. And this isn’t just an invention of Donald Trump. It began during the Obama Administration. In the meantime, how many masks, gowns, and gloves could be purchased for frontline medical personnel with the money used to put down peaceful demonstrators? A long-awaited report from the British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee accuses Russia to meddle in the UK’s internal affairs and to influence the Brexit referendum. Russian authorities have strongly disputed these allegations, calling them “groundless” and impossible to substantiate. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism,” joins the show.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

    Trump Unleashes "Kidnapping" Tactics in Portland

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2020 115:16

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mara Verheyden Hilliard, the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.A viral video is making the rounds on social media and in the mainstream news that shows a Navy veteran and graduate of the US Naval Academy being brutalized by a federal officer in Portland, Oregon. The man is standing peacefully, when he is attacked by a federal officer in fatigues, who strikes him with a club multiple times, breaking his hand, while another officer sprays him in the face with pepper spray. That’s the situation in Portland, where these federal officers--with no name tags and no identifying features--have taken to the streets. They are even kidnapping protestors and taking them away in unmarked vans. The 2020 presidential campaign seems to get crazier and crazier. President Donald Trump gave an interview over the weekend to Fox News’s Chris Wallace that became combative and called into question whether Trump can maintain his base as we get closer to the election. Meanwhile the latest national polls show Joe Biden leading Trump by 15 percentage points. Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton," joins the show. The coronavirus continues to spread at an increasingly rapid rate, especially across the southern United States. Nationally, Covid-19 is infecting 20 people per 100,000 residents. But the infection rate is far higher in many states, with Florida at 55 people per 100,000 residents, Arizona at 44, Louisiana at 41, and Nevada at 39. And deaths stand at nearly 141,000. Meanwhile, the European Union announced that it would not allow Americans to travel there at least until July 31. Brian and John speak with Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician and vice chair of the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Global Health Committee. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including Trump’s efforts to minimize his administration’s mishandling of the Coronavirus crisis, the state of the 2020 presidential election, the kidnapping of protesters by unidentified federal agents in Portland, and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

    Which way forward for COVID-19 Crisis?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 17, 2020 117:04

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh,veditor of thepolemicist.net, and Walter Smolarek, Sputnik News analysts and producer.In The Week in Review, we take a look at the biggest stories of the week, including the latest controversies over the response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the shakeup in the Trump campaign, the latest U.S. threats against China, recent developments in the economic crisis gripping the country, and moreThe number of Covid-19 infections broke another record yesterday, its ninth in 11 days, with 77,255 new cases reported. Another 943 Americans died yesterday. Medical professionals in Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, and southern California warn that Intensive Care Units are full or almost full, and there are no signs that the spread of the disease is slowing. Meanwhile, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp lifted an Atlanta rule that residents must wear masks. Kemp said, disingenuously, that while he wants people to wear masks, he doesn’t want to mandate it. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter whose writings can be found at ThisCantBeHappening.net., joins the show. The Supreme Court yesterday refused to consider an Appeals Court decision to uphold the disenfranchisement of as many as one million ex-felons in the state of Florida. Florida voters had passed a referendum allowing ex-felons who had completed probation and parole to register to vote, except if they had been convicted of murder or sex crimes. But the state’s governor sued, and the state legislature passed a law saying that ex-felons also had to have paid all fines, fees, and restitution before registering. Brian and John speak with Ruth Beltran, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Tampa, and Kofi Ademola, an activist and organizer with the Black Lives Matter movement.The UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, the country’s official equality watchdog, finds itself in the center of a controversy over its impartiality. That controversy began when two pro-Israel lobbying groups in the UK asked for an investigation into alleged anti-semitism in the British Labour Party. But the Equality and Human Rights Commission never revealed that it had named one of the pro-Israel lobbying groups to its legal advisory board. And it also hadn’t revealed that one of its senior members had donated thousands of pounds to the Conservative Party and had hosted a fundraiser for the party. Asa Winstanley, an investigative journalist and an associate editor of the Electronic Intifada, joins Brian and John.Again this week we’ll look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News, at lefti.blogspot.com, joins the show.

    Could COVID-19 Be Here Forever?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 16, 2020 115:50

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including new studies showing that coronavirus antibodies may only exist temporarily, the European Court of Justice’s ruling on US violations of data privacy, the hack yesterday into famous Twitter accounts, the new footage of George Floyd’s death and what the cops said as they killed him, and more. Until recently, the Japanese island of Okinawa, which is home to several different US military bases, had no Covid-19 cases at all. But in the past two weeks, nearly 100 servicemen have been infected and all US facilities on the island have gone into lockdown to try to prevent the disease from spreading to the population. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo escalated tensions with China this week. KJ Noh, a peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia, and a frequent contributor to Counterpunch and Dissident Voice, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and Sputnik news analyst Nicole Roussell.

    Political Chaos Reigns as 2020 Election Approaches

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2020 113:07

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning columnist and political cartoonist whose work is at www.rall.com.2020 is taking some odd political turns. Last night in the Alabama primary, former senator and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions lost his comeback attempt handily--61 to 39--to former football coach Tommy Tuberville. President Trump complained in a Rose Garden press conference that Joe Biden’s environmental plan to reduce greenhouse gasses would mean that new houses would be built without windows. The UK has banned Chinese telecom giant Huawei from its 5G network, reversing a January decision that would have allowed the tech company to have a role in building the country’s super-fast wireless infrastructure. President Trump is claiming that it was he who convinced the British government to take the decision. Meanwhile, Apple won a major EU court victory yesterday when a 2016 decision to force Apple to pay $16 billion in taxes was overturned. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. President Trump today unilaterally weakened one of the nation’s bedrock conservation laws, the National Environmental Policy Act, limiting public review of federal infrastructure projects to speed up the permitting of freeways, power plants, and pipelines. Gutting the 50-year-old law is one of the most significant measures the administration has taken. And to date, Trump has either weakened, suspended, or canceled more than 100 environmental protection laws and regulations. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net. Armenian and Azerbaijani troops clashed along their border this week, killing an Azeri general and at least 10 other people. Both sides accuse each other of shelling civilians. The fighting is a result of a long-time dispute over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is claimed by both sides. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, negotiated a fragile ceasefire in 1994, but Azeri President Aliyev called any further diplomacy “pointless.” Mark Sleboda, a foreign affairs and security analyst, joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

    Will 2007 Epstein Sweetheart Deal with Govt Save Ghislaine Maxwell too?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2020 118:26

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman accused of procuring and grooming young girls for the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, appeared in court today, charged with perjury and conspiracy. Maxwell’s attorneys are expected to base their legal defense on an unprecedented sweetheart deal Epstein received from prosecutors in Florida in 2007 that shielded his co-conspirators from legal consequences. But what Maxwell is accused of doing is just as horrifying as the accusations against Epstein. A major battle is brewing between the White House and states, municipalities, and school districts around the country over whether, when, and how to reopen schools in the fall. The President and his Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, are adamant that schools must reopen fully and on-time or risk losing federal aid. But epidemiologists and educators say it’s too dangerous and a fight is likely in the courts. Rick Ayers, a professor of education at the University of San Francisco, the author of “An Empty Seat in Class: Teaching and Learning after the Death of a Student,” and co-author of the book “You can’t fire the bad ones: And 18 other myths about teachers, teachers unions, and public education,” and Karla Reyes, a teacher in New York Public Schools and a managing editor of the women’s magazine Breaking the Chains, joins the show. Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism,” joins the show.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Ann Marie Kernen, a Washington, DC anti-war organizer; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

    As COVID ravages the US, Bankers Loot Small Business Programs

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2020 112:30

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to The Nation, Extra!, and Salon.com, and whose writings are at ThisCantBeHappening.net.States across the country yesterday reported record numbers of Covid-19 infections, 57,789, with marked increases in 35 states. Florida alone reported 15,300 new cases on Sunday. And perhaps even more troubling, the average age for those people newly-infected has declined. Experts say this is a result of bars and beaches opening and younger people refusing to practice social distancing and to wear masks. Meanwhile, the White House appears to have turned on Dr. Anthony Fauci, calling into question his ability to continue leading the fight against the disease. And a new report has shown even more abuse of pandemic assistance programs by the ultra-rich -- this time by wealth management firms. Major unions representing academic workers are organizing protests today in cities across the country in opposition to ICE’s new policy of deporting international students whose universities do not resume in-person classes. Tomorrow, a court in Massachusetts will hold a hearing on a major lawsuit brought by Harvard and MIT seeking to block ICE. Neal Sweeney, the Vice President of UAW Local 5810, joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand theImpossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian. The federal government was just prohibited from beginning executing death row prisoners again today. As if that’s not controversial enough, the government has been secretly experimenting with pentobarbital as the execution drug without telling the companies that manufacture it and without telling the people of St. Louis, MO that experiments in advance of the executions are taking place in the center of their city. Miriam Gohara, a Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School who spent sixteen years representing death-sentenced clients in post-conviction litigation, as assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and then as a specially designated federal public defender with the Federal Capital Habeas Project, joins John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the huge and growing coronavirus numbers, the Washington football team abruptly changing its name during the current protest movement after years of campaigns against the name, and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

    "How Dare You Bring Me Bad News!" - Trump to Health Policy Advisers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 10, 2020 114:46

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analyst and producer Nicole Roussell and, in the second half hour, special guest Kym Smith, an South Carolina organizer in the ongoing protest movement.Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on record-breaking counts of new coronavirus cases in six of the last ten days, deaths due to coronavirus beginning to increase, the Supreme Court cases this week that ruled on Trump’s taxes and women’s right to health care, and a special report from Columbia, South Carolina, about the escalating level of police repression against the protest movement. Immigration detention facilities have been hit hard by the coronavirus. Last week, more than 100 of the 412 detainees at an ICE facility in Farmville, Virginia tested positive for the coronavirus, which is spreading rapidly throughout the facility, and detainees say the real numbers are far worse. ICE, meanwhile, continues to transfer people from other states into the Farmville facility, further endangering everyone. And those who are sick are merely handed Tylenol. Danny Cendejas, an organizer with la ColectiVa, a social justice organization in Northern Virginia campaigning for the release of everyone at the immigration detention center in Farmville, Virginia, where covid-19 has started spreading, joins the show. Many Americans followed the story of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen. She was the soldier from Fort Hood, Texas who was brutally murdered and dismembered by a fellow soldier in April. Her remains were found two weeks ago. The murderer was Guillen’s supervisor, and she had been harassed by him previously. Now Guillen’s family and a group of female veterans are demanding systemic changes and a congressional investigation into the failure of the military to protect Guillen and other female soldiers. Brian and John speak with Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos. The unemployment rate in the UK is expected to soar to more than 15 percent in an expected second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. Such a rise in unemployment would put the British rate above unemployment levels in France, Germany, and Italy. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

    Trump’s Taxes Still Hidden After SCOTUS Ruling, But for How Long?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 9, 2020 111:18

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers.The Supreme Court ruled today that New York City prosecutors may have access to President Trump’s tax returns for use with a grand jury, but that Congress may NOT have access, at least until after the election. Even with a partial victory, Trump is furious, and he spent much of the day tweeting his anger. Meanwhile, likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden issued an underwhelming economic plan advocating small tax increases on corporations and what Biden loosely called “common sense” taxation. And the Democratic Party’s “unity commissions” submitted their recommendations. The Department of Labor this morning released its latest unemployment numbers today, and the 600-dollar a week enhancement to unemployment benefits is set to expire soon. Pete Dolack, an activist and writer with Trade Justice New York Metro, who focuses on human rights, social justice, and environmental and trade issues and the author of “It’s Not Over, Learning from the Socialist Experiment,” joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

    Under the Lash: Trump Says He'll Cut Funding if Schools Don't Reopen

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2020 117:29

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Chicago Teachers Union member and activist Nick Stender.Covid-19 is continuing to spread rapidly, with 34 states reporting record numbers of cases yesterday, the same day that the President announced the US withdrawal from the World Health Organization. Nearly 132,000 Americans already have died of the disease this year, and current projections from the Centers for Disease Control say that we should expect to see 200,000 to 250,000 dead by November 1. But Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are unfazed by these numbers. Trump yesterday tweeted an untruth that schools across Europe already are open and are reporting no problems. It’s the middle of the summer. And DeVos said that she would withhold federal funding for all schools that do not open physically when the new school year starts. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador flew to Washington yesterday to meet with President Trump. It’s his first foreign trip since winning in a landslide two years ago. Meanwhile, in Mexico, nearly six years after 43 college students disappeared in a rural area of the country, investigators have identified the remains of one of the missing, known as the Ayotzinapa 43. Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, joins the show. President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have agreed to hold three presidential debates in the fall, one less than Trump had sought. The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman suggests that Biden not debate unless Trump agrees to release his 2016-2018 tax returns and agrees to a real-time truth tracker. For his part, Biden has kept a low profile, making it difficult for Republicans to attack him. And all national polls show Biden winning in a landslide if the election were held today. Brian and John speak with Lee Camp, a writer, comedian, activist, journalist, and host of the television show “Redacted Tonight,” which you can see on RT America. His latest book is called “Bullet Points & Punch Lines,” and you can find it, and more of his work, at leecamp.com. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul South Korea yesterday for talks on stalled nuclear diplomacy hours after North Korea said Kim Jong Un had “no intention of sitting face to face with the United States.” President Trump had said earlier in the day that he was willing to have yet another summit with the North Korean leader. But Biegun reiterated the US position that North Korea must give up all of its nuclear weapons, something North Korea has always maintained it would not do unilaterally without concurrent sanctions relief. Gregory Elich, a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea and an author of many articles and books, whose work is at gregoryelich.org, joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

    Democratic Party Elites Moving to Defeat Anti-Police Protests

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2020 117:41

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Eugene Puryear, an author, activist and host of the new program BreakThrough News.Major cities in the United States have suffered from serious gun violence for a very long time. All of a sudden, in newspapers across the country these tragic shootings are becoming front page news. Democratic Party politicians and corporate media outlets are implying that this is a consequence of the movement to defund the police. But these shootings, and others in cities like New York and St. Louis, had nothing to do with protests. So why are authorities trying to tie them together? Paul Erickson, the Republican operative and former boyfriend of Maria Butina, the Russian student who was convicted of failing to register as a foreign agent, was sentenced to seven years in a federal prison yesterday for defrauding investors over the past 20 years. But critics argue that similar practices are commonplace among Washington lobbyists. The case had nothing to do with Butina, but prosecutors targeted Erickson after he refused to cooperate in the case against his girlfriend. Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--The Frozen Republic, The Velvet Coup, and America's Undeclared War, joins the show. Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism,” joins the show. Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

    What If There Is No Vaccine for COVID-19?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2020 116:38

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Robert Gallo, MD, the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, co-founder and director of the Institute Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and co-founder and international scientific adviser of the Global Virus Network.What would you think if someone told you that we already have a vaccine that at least helps fight Covid-19? That may already be the case. Two American scientists, Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr. Konstantin Chumakov, are positing that decades-old live vaccines for things like polio and tuberculosis strengthen the immune system’s first line of defense a more general way to fight infection. And the history books show us that that sometimes translates into at least some cross-protection against completely different viruses. President Trump over the weekend gave a threatening and incendiary speech at Mount Rushmore that dispensed with any questions about whether he was going to launch a war on progressives in the presidential campaign. The event was protested by Native Americans whose land Mt. Rushmore is carved into. Among other things, Trump said that, “Angry mobs are seeking to unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities” and that those seeking to deface monuments want to “end America.” He called protestors, “members of the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who have absolutely no clue what they are doing.” Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article on CounterPunch and The Polemicist titled “Over the Rainbow: Paths of Resistance after George Floyd,” joins the show. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including coronavirus numbers exploding, what President Trump said in his inciting and racist speech at Mount Rushmore over the weekend and what effects it may have, and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

    “Independence Day” for Who?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2020 115:47

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history at the University of Houston and the author of many books, including “The Counterrevolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America.”The successful 1776 revolt against British rule in North America has been hailed almost universally as a great step forward for humanity. But the Africans then living in the colonies overwhelmingly sided with the British. Gerald Horne argues that in the prelude to 1776, the abolition of slavery seemed all but inevitable in London, delighting Africans as much as it outraged slaveholders, and sparking the colonial revolt. The so-called Revolutionary War was in part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their right to enslave others. Abby Martin and Mike Prysner have filmed a new documentary titled “Afghanistan War Exposed: An Imperial Conspiracy”, that shows the totality of the US conflict in Afghanistan, from CIA covert action in the 1980s until today. They argue that the occupation of Afghanistan has become so normalized and mostly serves as background noise to Americans. It’s even referred to as the “Forever War,” accepted as just a constant reality. You can support the journalism of Mike and Abby Martin at patreon.com/EmpireFiles, and check out their work at YouTube.com/EmpireFiles. And check out an earlier documentary on Afghanistan by Abby and Mike titled “The Forever War: From the Killing Fields”. Mike Prysner, the documentary’s producer, and the co-host of the podcast Eyes Left, a military podcast hosted by two anti-war Army veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? John speaks with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

    100,000 new infections per day? Coronavirus Second Wave Arriving

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2020 117:56

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, John Kiriakou is joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning commentator and editorial cartoonist whose work you can find at www.rall.com.New coronavirus infection cases are surging across the country, with marked increases in 45 states over the past 14 days. Dr. Anthony Fauci said yesterday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee that he would not be surprised to see 100,000 new infections per day in the coming weeks. Even the Republican governors of Texas, Florida, and Arizona said yesterday that they had reopened their states too soon. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he was considering a third coronavirus stimulus bill that would extend unemployment benefits. Accusations continue to fly that Russian military intelligence paid the Taliban a bounty to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, although there is little in the way of evidence. The Wall Street Journal reported that NSA strenuously objected to the report, saying there was no evidence that it was true, while former National Security Advisor Susan Rice offered an opinion in the New York Times that it was true and that both President Trump and Vice President Pence live in a state of denial. Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, joins the show. Supporters of Medicaid expansion won a narrow victory in conservative Oklahoma yesterday where a ballot measure passed with slightly over 50 percent of the vote. In Colorado, an right-wing insurgent congressional candidate who is a follower of the conspiracy group Q-Anon, defeated incumbent Republican Congressman Scott Tipton, despite being outspent 4-1. Meanwhile, mail-in ballots in Kentucky have been counted and Amy McGrath has won the Democratic nomination for Senate. She will take on Mitch McConnell in November. John speaks with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com whose writings are at ThisCantBeHappening.net. The Israeli government was widely expected to present to the cabinet today a plan to annex as much as 30 percent of the West Bank. That’s what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s deal with Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz allowed for. But it didn’t happen, even after a meeting yesterday between Netanyahu, a White House envoy, and the US Ambassador to Israel. Miko Peled, the author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and of "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins the show.

    Nearly Half of US Population Is Out of Work

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2020 115:12

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism.”Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Accusations flew in Washington over the past two days about what President Trump was told about allegations that Russia paid bounties for the Taliban to kill American soldiers. But an equally intense debate is taking place over whether the information is even true in the first place. We don’t know much about the source and we have no idea if the information was vetted. Bryan Macdonald, a journalist who specializes in Eastern Europe and Russia, joins the show with John. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that now is the time to lay out an ambitious economic plan to bring the UK out of its coronavirus recession. Plans set out in a new Tory election manifesto call for a New Deal and 5 billion pounds of new spending on homes and infrastructure, as well as investment in new schools, green buses, and upgraded broadband. The Opposition Labour Party said the plan was not new and not much of a deal. John speaks with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star. Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show with Brian.

    After 18-year Afghanistan Occupation: Media Blames Putin for US Deaths

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2020 116:29

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, John Kiriakou is joined by Matthew Hoh, who worked for 12 years in United States Marine Corps and the Departments of Defense and State and resigned in 2009 from the State Department over the American escalation of the war in Afghanistan, whose writings have appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Defense News, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and who won the Ridenhour Prize for Truth Telling.The New York Times over the weekend reported an explosive story saying that the Russian government paid a bounty for Taliban militants to kill Russian soldiers in Afghanistan. President Trump says he was never briefed on the report, and the intelligence community has used language indicating that they have no actual proof or corroboration. And the Pentagon says that Defense Department leaders were briefed on the report, but they, too, have not corroborated it. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who would have been briefed on the issue, seemed to not know anything about it when he was interviewed on the weekend news shows. Covid-19 continues to spread rapidly, with Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California setting new infection records over the weekend. The governors in those states have begun scaling back and reversing reopenings and two of them, in Texas and North Carolina, said they erred in opening too early. Coronavirus deaths have topped 126,000 so far in the United States. And there are more than a half a million dead worldwide. Dr. Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor of viral pathogenesis at the University of Manitoba and Canada Research Chair in molecular pathogenesis of emerging and reemerging viruses, joins the show with John. Boeing has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to begin test flights of its 737 Max jet to demonstrate that it can fly safely with new flight control software. The 737 Max was grounded in March 2019 after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. No Boeing executives were held accountable for those deaths. John speaks with Mary Schiavo, the former Inspector General at the Department of Transportation, an aviation attorney, an aviation professor, and an on-air consultant on aviation matters for CNN. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including the supreme court decision today in favor of abortion rights for many many women who were at risk of losing further access to care; new articles out in several major papers about Russia allegedly putting bounties on American soldiers while they occupy Afghanistan, despite no hard evidence former National Security Adviser John Bolton not knowing about it, and having low casualties; and more. Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show with Brian and John.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

    Huge COVID Spikes in US As Trump Tries to Cut Health Care for Millions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 26, 2020 113:18

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, John Kiriakou is joined by Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician and vice chair of the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Global Health Committee. The House of Representatives today is voting on a landmark bill to make Washington, DC, a state. The bill won’t pass the US Senate, and President Trump has vowed to block it due to the additional anti-Trump representatives the measure would bring. Georgia Republican Rep. Jody Hice said of the vote “The District is not prepared to shoulder the burden of statehood. This would apply economically, fiscally as well as a host of other ways.” This is an extension of the long racist history of the federal government’s rule over the District of Columbia. Maurice Cook, the founder and executive director of Serve Your City and a co-founder and co-chair of March for Racial Justice, joins the show with Brian Becker. Russians have begun voting on a wide range of constitutional reforms that would rebalance the relative powers of different branches of the government. The vote is taking place over the course of a week as a measure to reduce overcrowding during the pandemic. What do the constitutional reforms tell us about the future of Russian politics? Brian speaks with Bryan Macdonald, a journalist who specializes in Eastern Europe and Russia. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. John speaks with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog.Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the near-record-breaking surge of Coronavirus infections being detected across the country, protests against racism and the brutal police repression of those protests, the controversy over racist statues and monuments, the latest attack on the Affordable Care Act, and moreSputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell join Brian and John.

    US Indicts Julian Assange Again - But Why?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2020 112:37

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton."The Justice Department yesterday released a superseding indictment against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. The indictment doesn’t add to the 18 felony charges with which Assange has already been charged. But it adds detail to allegations that Assange attended hacker conventions in Europe, where they say he solicited hackers to help Wikileaks procure US secrets. Assange’s US attorney said the indictment is a direct attack on journalists. Americans filed 1.5 million new unemployment claims last week as the economy sputtered and coronavirus cases surged. As states try to reopen, officials are also forced to deal with this surge. Is it possible to reopen an economy and still protect citizens? And meanwhile, the IMF issued a dire warning that the global economic contraction will be far worse than it initially expected. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen, joins the show with John. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show with John.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective, including the protest movement and the reactions in the political class, the strong pushback from the park service, Native nations, and others against president Trump’s planned visit to Mount Rushmore, the anniversary of the Korean war, and more. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

    Mike Flynn Walks Free After Appeals Court Ruling

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2020 114:09

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare. He is a journalist and author of three books--The Frozen Republic, The Velvet Coup, and America's Undeclared War.A federal appeals court ruled today that the criminal case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn must be dropped. This is a major victory for Flynn and it points to chaos in the Justice Department. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing this afternoon to discuss alleged political interference in the Trump Justice Department. The star witness is Aaron Zelinski, a senior member of the Mueller team during the Russiagate probe, and a former Obama Justice Department official, who said that he was pressured to cut Roger Stone a break because of his ties to the President. Confirmed coronavirus across the country are spiking, with troubling surges in at least 26 states. In Florida, the number of cases is doubling every two weeks. In Texas, Gov. Abbott encouraged all residents to remain in their homes. And in Arizona, all intensive care hospital beds are full. But President Trump has ordered that federal testing for the virus be slowed. Despite the fact that White House officials have said that the president was joking, he told campaign supporters in Tulsa last weekend that he had ordered that testing slow. And he confirmed to a CNN reporter yesterday that he was not joking. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com whose writings can be found at ThisCantBeHappening.net, joins the show. There were a number of surprising political upsets in primary races in Kentucky, North Carolina, and New York yesterday. In Kentucky, the race between establishment Democrat Amy McGrath and progressive state legislator Charles Booker to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is too close to call. But in New York, Jamaal Bowman, a progressive middle school principal appears to have defeated Congressman Eliot Engel. Engel has been a member of the House since 1988 and is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And in North Carolina, a 24-year-old real estate investor, Madison Cawthorn, defeated a Trump-endorsed candidate to win the nomination to succeed Rep. Mark Meadows, who is now White House Chief of Staff. He’ll face Guantanamo whistleblower Col. Morris Davis in the general election. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net. The Biden and Trump campaigns apparently have agreed to three presidential debates in the weeks before the November election. But in a case of role reversal, it is the Trump campaign that is demanding even more, not fewer, debates. President Trump has said that Biden is sequestered in a bunker and does not want to debate him. He has commented on what he called Biden’s poor mental condition and said that it’s “very sad” that Biden’s handlers won’t let him out in public. But what is the truth here? Why is Biden so consistently out of the public eye? Is that his campaign strategy? Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work at www.rall.com, joins the show.

    Trump v. Silicon Valley on Worker Visa Shutdown

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2020 118:19

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism.”Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff.The State Department yesterday issued an edict that designated the US operations of China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily, and the Global Times as foreign missions. This follows the February 18 designation of Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA as foreign missions. Mike Wong, the Vice President of the San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace, joins the show.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the latest easing of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown today, ditching the two meter social distancing rule, allowing pubs, restaurants, and hair salons to reopen. Gyms will remain closed. While non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen last week, many businesses, especially in the hospitality and leisure sector, have remained closed. The country’s economy has been devastated by the pandemic and lockdown. Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

    COVID-19: Why Are Some Countries Succeeding & Other Countries Failing?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2020 118:08

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by KJ Noh, a peace activist and scholar on the geopolitics of Asia, and a frequent contributor to Counterpunch and Dissident Voice.China two weeks ago announced that it had a Covid-19 hotspot in an outdoor market in Beijing. The government quarantined the area and snuffed out the virus. South Korea dealt with the coronavirus as soon as it hit and was able to control infections. Australia barely had any coronavirus infections after it went into lockdown. And Greece had a lower Covid-19 infection rate than any other country in the European Union. Why are other countries so good at addressing this pandemic and the US is so bad? President Trump’s much-touted kickoff campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday ended up having not the hundreds of thousands of people the campaign expected, but a grand total of 6,611. It turned out that the campaign was trolled by children and teenagers, who reserved nearly a million tickets and then didn’t show up. The President is reportedly furious. He blamed “radical leftists,” demonstrators, and the “fake media” for the debacle. But on a serious note, this colossal failure has to call into question the current state of the campaign, just four-and-a-half months before the election. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show with John Kiriakou. For generations African-Americans have been told they have what is now said to be more than one trillion dollars of "buying power." But a new book argues that commentators have misused this claim largely to blame Black communities for their own poverty based on squandered economic opportunity. “The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power” exposes the claim as both a marketing strategy and myth, while also showing how that myth functions simultaneously as a case study for propaganda and commercial media coverage of economics. Brian speaks with Dr. Jared Ball, a professor of communication studies at Morgan State University, the editor of “A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X” and the new book “The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power,” and his writings are at www.IMixWhatILike.org. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John.In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including . Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show with John.

    Juneteenth Protests Shut Down Ports & Tulsa Braces for a Trump Rally

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 19, 2020 115:25

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Eugene Puryear, an author, activist and host of the new program BreakThrough News; and Estevan Hernandez, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition who has been in the streets helping to organize recent protests.Today marks the commemoration of Juneteenth. This is a major holiday for the African American community, and it is celebrated as a state holiday in 47 of the 50 states. President Trump, who apparently had never heard of Juneteenth until just a few days ago, tweeted, “I did something good. I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.” Meanwhile, President Trump’s first post-Covid-19 campaign rally is scheduled to take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma tomorrow. The mayor of Tulsa already has declared a state of emergency and instituted a curfew for today and tomorrow, saying that “stragglers would be arrested.” This was after reports that protesters also would descend on the city. Meanwhile, the White House said that it has no concerns that the 20,000 people expected to pack into the rally venue might be at increased risk of contracting the coronavirus. California utility PG&E, which stands for Pacific Gas & Electric, has agreed to plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of unlawfully starting a fire. You heard that right. The utilities giant has admitted in court that its faulty and outdated equipment was the cause of a horrific 2018 blaze that destroyed the town of Paradise, California and much of the surrounding area. Besides the dead, 19,000 buildings burned to the ground. The utility will pay a $3.5 million fine, the maximum allowed by law, and a $28.5 billion settlement to the victims, their families, and Butte County, California. Brian and John speak with Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, at www.patreon.com/BreakChainsMag.Brian It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the commemoration of and meaning of Juneteenth, what Juneteenth means for the ongoing protest movement today, the tens of millions who have become suddenly unemployed in the last few months, the labor strikes going on today, and more. Brian and John speak with Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

    Why Did the Supreme Court Rule for Immigrant "Dreamers" & Not Trump?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 18, 2020 112:15

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition.The Supreme Court today, in a landmark 5-4 decision, ruled that the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismantle the DACA program, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children, was unconstitutional. This is a major defeat for the White House, and it protects some 650,000 young people known as “Dreamers.” In the final decision, Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee to the court, joined the court’s four more progressive justices. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memoir is supposed to come out on Tuesday. The White House is asking a federal court for an injunction against the book, but excerpts are already being widely reported in the media. Is arch-neocon John Bolton now about to be embraced by the centrist establishment that once despised him? And how shocking really is the information being reported as “bombshells” in the media? Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast, joins the show. Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

    Trump & Pence Tell Nation “It’s All Under Control” as COVID Cases Spike

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2020 111:37

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, who is at www.rall.com.Coronavirus cases are surging in parts of the country with Florida, Texas, and Arizona yesterday setting new records for the number of confirmed new cases. Indeed, hospital beds in Arizona, Alabama, Texas, and elsewhere are filling quickly. But Vice President Pence, in a call with governors, suggested that governors should stop testing their citizens, which would cause the number of “confirmed” cases to decline. And he told those governors to tell their constituents that the Administration has the pandemic under control. President Trump yesterday signed an executive order on policing reforms calling for additional police training and a new database to track police misconduct. Progressive groups immediately dismissed it as not worth the paper it is written on. Meanwhile, Democrats are pushing their own reform bill but it appears to be stalled in the Senate, where Republicans are suggesting reform measures won’t be voted on until after Congress gets back from its July 4th vacation. Daryle Lamont Jenkins, executive director of the organization One People’s Project, joins the show. An internal CIA report prepared by then-director Mike Pompeo and his deputy, Gina Haspel, that was obtained by the Washington Post, concludes that the 2016 theft of top secret computer hacking tools known as Vault 7 was the result of a culture in which the Agency’s elite hackers “prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of securing their own weapons. The CIA did not even know that the information had been stolen until it appeared on the Wikileaks website in 2017. Officials call it the biggest unauthorized disclosure of classified information in the CIA’s history. Brian and John speak with Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton." The Trump Administration yesterday filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block next week’s expected publication of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memoir. Bolton has been working for months with the NSC’s publications review board to ensure that the book does not contain classified information. But once he got the book cleared, someone at the White House, presumably the President, put the final clearance on hold. Bolton then said that, clearance or not, he was publishing the book. It’s supposed to come out on June 23. Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World,” joins the show. Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show. The webinar for comments on the proposed radioactive waste dump affecting Native and Latino communities in New Mexico is on Tuesday at 5pm EDT, with information posted at beyondnuclear.org.

    We Are Now in the Third Major Capitalist Economic Crisis in 20 Years

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2020 119:00

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism,” joins the show.Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with special guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Two weeks have now passed since the infamous attack on anti-racism protesters in front of the White House to clear the way for Donald Trump to have a photo-op at a nearby church, and more information continues to come out about how the crackdown was executed and which officials were involved in the fateful decision. Will those who carried out this wanton violation of civil liberties be held to account? Mara Verheyden Hilliard, the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, joins the show. A coalition of progressive organizations have nominated the Cuba-based organization called the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics for the Nobel Peace Prize for their humanitarian work around the world during the Covid-19 outbreak. The group, which is better known as the Cuban Medical Brigade Henry Reeve, is working against Covid-19 for free in 26 countries. Brian and John speak with Medea Benjamin, a legendary peace activist and the co-founder of the peace group Code Pink. Loud & Clear’s series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Special guest Juliana Moraes, Executive Director of the Washington Brazil Office, a project of the US Network for Democracy in Brazil; Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show. You can read more about the Brazilian favelas that Juliana talks about from Rio On Watch, UNEAfro, and MTST.

    Police Executions of Unarmed Black People Continues; Atlanta Rises Up

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2020 114:28

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by community organizer Monica Johnson who attended the protests over the weekend and Sputnik news analyst Nicole Roussell.Peaceful protests continued across America over the weekend, with large marches in Washington, Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, and abroad. In Atlanta, the police chief resigned after an officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, who was shot twice in the back and killed by police in a Wendy’s parking lot. The cops were fired and an investigation was initiated. Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva is meeting today to discuss systemic racism, police brutality, and violence against peaceful demonstrators in the United States. Coronavirus cases are spiking in 20 states, mostly in the Deep South and the Midwest, with Florida seeing 2,000 confirmed new cases every day for the past three days. Critics are blaming governors and state leaderships for reopening too quickly. And they say that many residents are no longer practicing social distancing and are not wearing masks. So far, nearly 115,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 in the past three-and-a-half months. Dr. Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor of viral pathogenesis at the University of Manitoba and Canada Research Chair in molecular pathogenesis of emerging and reemerging viruses, joins the show. A former Marine by the name of Paul Whelan was convicted of espionage in Russia and sentenced to 16 years at hard labor today. Whelan maintained that he was framed, and his Russian attorney said that, while at a wedding in 2018, a friend handed him a flash drive that contained state secrets. Whelan told his attorney that he expects to be exchanged for a Russian pilot in a US prison on a cocaine conspiracy charge and, perhaps for arms dealer Victor Bout. Brian and John speak with Bryan Macdonald, a journalist who specializes in Eastern Europe and Russia. Monday’s segment “Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers” is where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What’s happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator and the author of the book “Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto,” joins Brian and John. In this segment, The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including . Sputnik News analysts and producers of this show Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show.Monday’s regular segment Technology Rules is a weekly guide on how monopoly corporations and the national surveillance state are threatening cherished freedoms, civil rights and civil liberties. Web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa and software engineer and technology and security analyst Patricia Gorky join the show.

    Protests Grow, Monuments Fall: Is the Military Breaking from Trump?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 12, 2020 113:46

    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the ongoing protest movement sweeping the country, the victories against racist monuments and memorials, divisions between the White House and the military, and more. Confirmed cases of Covid-19 are skyrocketing in a dozen states, mostly in the Deep South and the Midwest as governors insist that their states reopen. In those 12 states, confirmed cases are up more than 50 percent over what they were two weeks ago. Only Utah’s governor announced that the state would delay its reopening to deal with the new cases. Four of those states--North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada--are now seeing a record number of new coronavirus cases. Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician and vice chair of the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Global Health Committee, joins the show with John. Large-scale peaceful protests continued across the country this week, and there are plans for more over the weekend. Protesters in Seattle took control of a local police precinct and began handing out free food and water. And statues commemorating confederate leaders continue to be toppled. Meanwhile, President Trump announced yesterday that the Republican National Convention would be moved to Jacksonville after the governor of North Carolina would not allow delegates to attend without wearing masks. Even more controversially, the White House announced that the President’s first post-Covid-19 campaign rally would be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of the worst anti-black massacre in the country’s history. And that rally will be held on June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, the day on which the entrance of Union troops into the last bastion of slavery is commemorated. Brian speaks with Estevan Hernandez, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition who has been in the streets helping to organize recent protests. Eleanor Goldfield has just completed a long-form documentary that is unlike anything that’s been done on the issue of fracking and the environment in West Virginia. Hard Road of Hope introduces you to the people of West Virginia and shows you the toll that more than a century of coal mining and fracking has taken on the land and the people of that beautiful state. The film was just selected by the Rome Independent Prisma Awards. Creative activist and journalist Eleanor Goldfield, host of the podcast Act Out!, which airs on Free Speech TV, whose work is at ArtKillingApathy.com, and who is the writer, director, and producer of Hard Road of Hope, joins the show with Brian. It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. John speaks with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.

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