Progressive Commentary Hour – 10.20.15

Dr. Gareth Porter is an award-winning historian, an independent investigative journalist and policy analyst who specializes in US geopolitics and national security issues. During the Vietnam war, he was Dispatch News Services Bureau Chief in Saigon and later a co-director for the Indochina Resource Center. In addition to being a specialist in Vietnamese and Cambodian affairs, he has been reporting on the Middle East, including the chemical gas attacks reported in Syria, for the past decade. His numerous articles can found in Foreign Affairs, Al-Jazeera, Huffington, Counterpunch, Truthout, The Nation and others. For the past 9 years he has been investigating US and Israeli tensions with Iran and US intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gareth has an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University. He has published five major books dealing with Vietnam and Cambodia. His most recent is “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare” published last year, which debunks the myths regarding Iran as a nuclear threat.

Prof. Stephen Zunes (Zoo-ness) is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he chairs the program in Middle Eastern Studies. He is recognized as one the country’s leading scholars of U.S. Middle East policy and of strategic nonviolent action, Professor Zunes received his PhD. from Cornell University and previously served on the faculty of Ithaca College, the University of Puget Sound, and Whitman College. He serves as a senior policy analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, a contributing editor of Tikkun, and chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Among his publications, the most recent is “Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution” and earlier “Tinderbox: US Foreign Policy and the Roots of Terrorism” co-written with Richard Falk. His website is StephenZunes.org which has over 400 of his articles.


Progressive Commentary Hour – 10.13.15

Annie Jacobsen is an independent journalist and author who writes about war, weapons, U.S. national security, government secrecy and military history. She is a former contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times Magazine and received her education at Princeton University. Her first major book was “Area 51,” an extensive history of the US’s secret military base in the Nevada desert which became a national best seller, was translated into five languages and was scripted into a TV series. This was followed up with “Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America,” voted as one of the best books of 2014 by the Boston Globe. It is perhaps the most thorough study on the subject in print with new information from Annie’s Freedom of Information requests. Her most recent book, just released is “The Pentagon’s Brain: The Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency.” Her website is AnnieJacobson.com


Progressive Commentary Hour – 10.06.15

Dr Gary G. Kohls is a retired family practitioner, who specialized in holistic (non-drug) and preventive mental health care for the last decade of his career. He has expertise in the areas of traumatic stress disorders, brain malnutrition, non-pharmaceutical approaches to mental ill health, neurotransmitter disorders and the neurotoxicities from psychotropic drugs, vaccines, environmental toxins and food additives. Since his retirement, he has written a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, an alternative newsweekly magazine published in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. Dr Kohls worked with previously psychologically traumatized, usually malnourished, sometimes seriously neglected (in childhood), and over-drugged patients who had then suffered the ignominy of being falsely labeled “mentally ill He is a past member of the International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry, Mind Freedom International and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. His weekly Duty to Warn columns appear on my national and international websites and are archived at DuluthReader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn.


Monsanto’s Sealed Documents Reveal the Truth behind Roundup’s Toxicological Dangers -Richard Gale and Gary Null

The year 2015 hasn’t been kind to Monsanto. In March, the World Health Organization declared that the company’s flagship product, its herbicide glyphosate or Roundup, is a probable human carcinogen. Increasingly, national health ministries are taking a hard second look at glyphosate’s health and environmental dangers and efforts are underway to ban the herbicide.[1] To protect its citizens, last year the Netherlands, Bermuda and Sri Lanka have either banned or imposed strict limits on Roundup. Last June, France banned its use in gardens. Brazil, Germany and Argentina are considering legislative bans. And this month, California’s environmental protection agency launched plans to label Roundup as a carcinogen.[2]

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world today. Over 130 countries currently permit extensive use of the chemical. The US is the largest consumer, using approximately 20% of the world’s Roundup.[3] The latest reliable figures from the US Geological Survey record 280 million pounds of Roundup were used in 2012, nearly a pound for every American.[4] In 2013, gross profit of $371 million on crop chemicals including Roundup climbed 73% due to a 37% increase in sales. That same year Monsanto’s net income rose 22% to $1.48 billion.[5]


Progressive Commentary Hour – 09.08.15

Guest #1 – John Perkins:

For many years, John Perkins was an economic hit man (EHM), a job to convince leaders of developing nations to accept economic conditions that benefit US private and government interests. He was a direct participant or witness to such dramatic modern events as the Saudi Arabian Money Laundering scandal, the fall of the Shah of Iran, the assassination of Panama’s president Omar Torrijos and invasion, and other government and corporate intrigues. Later John was a chief economist for a large international consulting firm advising the World Bank and IMF, the UN, Fortune 500 companies and many national governments. After 911, John broke his silence with the publication of his international best seller “ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.” Since then he has been a champion of indigenous spiritual cultures and environmental movements through his non profit projects Dream Change and the Pachamama Alliance. In addition to writing about the underworld of economics, he has published a series of books on shamanism and personal transformation. His website is JohnPerkins.org where people can receive his newsletter.


Progressive Commentary Hour – 09.01.15

Guest #1 – Prof. James Brewer Stewart is a Professor Emeritus of History at Macalester College in Minneapolis, where he taught subjects on race, politics, social movements and labor systems. He has written dozen books and is highly regarded as a national expert on the American abolitionist movement. In 2011 he founded the nonprofit organization Historians Against Slavery, which brings together scholars to investigate the historical context behind modern day slavery in order to better inform social activism and civil efforts to eradicate the new forms of servant indenture that is increasing in the US. The organization hosts annual conferences for the public that feature experts in the field of modern day slavery. His website is HistoriansAgainstSlavery.org

Guest #2 – Steven Watt is the Senior Staff Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Human Rights Program specializing in civil and human rights litigation, which includes US rendition, detention, interrogation programs, human trafficking and forced labor, juvenile justice and women’s immigrants and juvenile justice. Earlier, while working with the Center for Constitutional Rights as a Human Rights Fellow. Among the cases he has worked on are Rasul vs Geroge Bush, and two cases against Attorney General John Ashcroft. Steven has also done substantial work overseas as a public defender for the government of the Solomon Islands, managing refugee camps in Tanzania, and directing emergency programs for displaced persons in Liberia. Originally from Scotland, Steve has a law degree from the University of Aberdeen, a degree in legal practice from the University of Edinburgh, and an LLM in International Human Rights from the University of Notre Dame. His website is his homepage at ACLU.org/Bio/Steven-M-Watt.