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Progressive Commentary Hour – 01.19.16

Michael Ellner is an internationally respected scholar in mind-body medicine, an expert in hypnosis, and a leader in warning people about the destructive consequences of unrecognized suggestion and self-hypnosis, especially when confronting medical choices. He is the president of HEAL – the Health Education AIDS Liaison in New York City, the world’s oldest and largest all volunteer Alternative AIDS Information network started in 1982. HEAL was the first AIDS organization to challenge the automatic death sentence embedded in a positive AIDS diagnosis and was a pioneer in offering alternative challenges to the official AIDS establishment. Michael has received honors as Educator of the Year by the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association, the National Guild of Hypnotists and the National Federation of NLP. More about Michael and his work can be found at his websites: NYCAnxietyHypnosis.com and QuantumFocusing.com

Tom DiFerdinando is a pain, injury and trauma therapist with nearly thirty years of experience. He was the Executive Director of HEAL NY (Health, Education, AIDS Liaison) from 1992 to 2013, working as an international speaker, HIV counselor, writer and editor, and director of HEAL’s popular weekly cable TV program HEAL This Week. Tom has been a leader in the AIDS dissident movement that perceives AIDS is a social problem and not a medical problem. He has also developed a counseling technique that centers on “crisis mentality” – an anxiety-regulating mechanism where, in the face of a crisis, preexisting and unresolved emotional tensions and conflicts in one’s life drive one not to solve the crisis but to perpetuate and escalate it. Along with HEAL’s president Michael Ellner, Tom’s mission has been to demystify health and illness, advocate for non-toxic, alternative approaches to health and healing, and help people with fears, concerns and conditions about AIDS.

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 01.12.16

Prof. Omid Safi has rapidly become one of the most important, postmodern Islamic thinkers in America today. From an Iranian heritage, he is Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University where he is the Director of Duke’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in Islamic social and intellectual history, Islamic mysticism or Sufism, and the tradition of prophetic social activism. Prof. Safee received his doctorate from Duke University, he is the co-chair for the Study of Islam and Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion, a has served on the board of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University, and an original co-founder of the Progressive Muslim Union. Omeed has written for Tikkun magazine, the Huffington Post, and BeliefNet and writes a weekly column for On Being.org. He is the author of several books including “Memories of Mohammad: Why the Prophet Matters” and “Progressive Muslisms: On Justice, Gender and Pluralism.” His website is OmidSafi.com

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 01.05.16

Professor Peter Dale Scott is a former professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley (where he was also the co-founder of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program), a recognized national poet, a former Canadian diplomat and a scholar and author on the domestic and international political issues including taxation, war and conflict, the war on drugs, the politics of oil and the assassination of JFK. His life’s work has focused on his theory of “deep politics” — a descriptive, realistic way to objectively understand the evidence of coercive, unelected government, not accountable to the American public, which would otherwise be characterized as “conspiratorial” in the main stream media.

He is the author of many books including “The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on US Democracy” and more recently last autumn “Dallas 63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House” that looks at the activities of the CIA, FBI, and other entities behind the JFK assassination, and how this trend has continued through the Iran Contra scandal, 911 and beyond. His website is PeterDaleScott.net

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 12.29.15

Professor Henry Giroux holds the Global Television Network Chair of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Ontario Canada. He was previously the Waterbury Chair Professor at Penn State University and Director of the Forum in Education and Cultural Studies. Professor Giroux is a leader in the field of critical and public pedagogy which describes the nature of spectacle in our new media, body politic and corporate education. He is a prominent advocate of radical democracy, which opposes the powers of neoliberalism, corporatism, and religious fundamentalism that diminishes our sense of civic virtue, free-thought and well being. He has also been named among the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern Period. Henry has authored many books including “Disposable Futures” and more recently this month “America’s Addiction to Terrorism”. His website is HenryAGiroux.com

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 12.22.15

Gary brought in Richard Gale to discuss these great clips from You Tube. Check them out if you can as well.

1. Qaddafi tries to create new currency, the gold dinar. https://www.facebook.com/michael.teshome.583/videos/vb.100005074680077/503766363135849/?type=2&theater

2. NATO is continuing its barrage of the Libyan capital, with no sign there will be any let-up until Colonel Muammar Gaddafi goes. Western and Arab countries are showing their support for the Libyan opposition by pledging more money. The rebels say they need $3 billion over the next several months to pay salaries and buy supplies. Although the rebels have managed to get financing from their first oil exports to the US, writer and filmmaker Patrick Henningsen believes the oil business coming out of Libya is not the main driver of this NATO operation. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUoOErVEVd0

3. Abby Martin interviews retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former national security advisor to the Reagan administration, who spent years as an assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell during both Bush administrations. Today, he is honest about the unfixable corruption inside the establishment and the corporate interests driving foreign policy. – http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2015/12/infixable-corruption-in-united-states.html?spref=fb

4. From McCarthy to Trump, Edward R Murrow setting the moral record straight. A broadcaster to be proud of. – https://www.facebook.com/camanpour/videos/vb.262444655369/10156357246175370/?type=2&theater

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 12.15.15

Chris Hedges is one of our nation’s most insightful cultural critics, social and political activists and investigative journalists. For almost 20 years he was a foreign correspondent in war zones and conflicts in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, having reported for The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and other news outlets. While at the Times, Chris received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on global terrorism. That same year he received Amnesty International’s Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Chris has authored many bestselling books. His most recent is “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt”, a philosophical, historical and timely clarion call for a new revolution against a repressive political and corporate hegemony. Chris’ weekly column can be read every Monday at Truthdig.com and his TV program “Days of Revolt” is aired every Monday at 11 pm Eastern on Telesur TV

Prof. Norman Pollack is a professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan. He has a long history of engaging civil rights and anti-war activities over the decades, beginning when he was 15 and campaigning for Henry Wallace and his Progressive Party in 1948. Later he campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in the 50s and supported Martin Luther King. A two time Guggenheim fellow, Prof. Pollack was a major intellectual voice during the late 60s in giving an knowledgeable boost to the New Left and writing on American populism, which became an popular documentary “The Populist Mind”. After receiving his doctorate in American Civilization from Harvard, he taught at Yale and Wayne State before going to Michigan. In his later years he has focused on the history of civil disobedience, socio-political alienation, and the sociology of fascism. Prof. Pollack currently writes for Counterpunch.org, and investigates America’s descent into a new form of neoliberal fascism.

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 12.01.15

Prof. Norman Pollack is a professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan. He has a long history of engaging civil rights and anti-war activities over the decades, beginning when he was 15 and campaigning for Henry Wallace and his Progressive Party in 1948. Later he campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in the 50s and supported Martin Luther King. A two time Guggenheim fellow, Prof. Pollack was a major intellectual voice during the late 60s in giving an knowledgeable boost to the New Left and writing on American populism, which became an popular documentary “The Populist Mind”. After receiving his doctorate in American Civilization from Harvard, he taught at Yale and Wayne State before going to Michigan. In his later years he has focused on the history of civil disobedience, socio-political alienation, and the sociology of fascism. Prof. Pollack currently writes for Counterpunch.org, and investigates America’s descent into a new form of neoliberal fascism.

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 12.01.15 (PART 2)

Gary discusses Israeli and Palestine and the current situation. Also Prof. Norman Pollack joins Gary for the 2nd hour as well.

Prof. Norman Pollack is a professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan. He has a long history of engaging civil rights and anti-war activities over the decades, beginning when he was 15 and campaigning for Henry Wallace and his Progressive Party in 1948. Later he campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in the 50s and supported Martin Luther King. A two time Guggenheim fellow, Prof. Pollack was a major intellectual voice during the late 60s in giving an knowledgeable boost to the New Left and writing on American populism, which became an popular documentary “The Populist Mind”. After receiving his doctorate in American Civilization from Harvard, he taught at Yale and Wayne State before going to Michigan. In his later years he has focused on the history of civil disobedience, socio-political alienation, and the sociology of fascism. Prof. Pollack currently writes for Counterpunch.org, and investigates America’s descent into a new form of neoliberal fascism.

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 11.24.15

Ned Sublette is a musical composer, musician, record producer and musicologist best known for his mastery of Spanish and Cuban music. He is also a historian and investigative researcher of Americana and regarded as the leading scholar on Cuban music. Musically, Ned has worked with John Cage, LeMonte Young and other modern contemporary composers and Willie Nelson. He has degrees from the University of New Mexico and studied at University of California at San Diego. In addition to his books on the history of slavery and the musical culture of Cuba and New Orleans, Ned is co-author with his wife Constance, of the recent “The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave Breeding Industry,” an epic size history of the US through the eyes of American slavery with enormous relevancy today in our cheap-labor economy with workers serving as commodities for the elite. American Slave Coast took 5 years to research through a residency with Washington Colleges Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.