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08
In the 30s, Communism meant an idealized hope for many destitute Americans. Then in the 50s, it became the Red Scare, led by the murderous Stalin. And the word Capitalism brings forth images of freedom and individuality. But there's a great deal of misunderstanding. On this show, Salon columnist Jesse Myerson sheds light into these dark mysterious corners.

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01
Though American history is full of left-leaning populist movements, for the last few years, the only populism has been on the far right. That may be changing, so argues Elias Isquith, assistant editor at Salon.com.

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01

Many Americans see our freedom to choose as consumers as what independence is all about. But recovering corporate CEO and Huffington Post columnist Richard Eskow on this show shines a light on how far we've veered from what the founders envisioned as the meaning of Independence.

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26
Peter Van Buren knows from personal experience. He told the truth about Iraq and was pushed out of his job at the State Department because of it. he sees three distinct eras in terms of a constitutional republic versus a police state. In the first era, the colonists lived under laws dictated by the king. Protest was not possible. Van Buren points out in this revealing interview that this new phase looks a lot like the one our founders rebelled against. Press harassment, free speech "zones," NSA spying; all have happened under the Obama Administration. And when we acquiesce, our foundation of freedom crumbles.

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24
A protest sign read: End Legal Bribery. As with lots of political change, it is starting in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary. The New Hampshire Rebellion is catching fire, as people fed up with the corruption of our system by vast fortunes being poured into politics, are coming together, Democrat and Republican, to create ever increasing pressure on congress to restore democracy to our electoral process. Guest is Jeff McLean on the NH Rebellion. We are not powerless.

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19
Many saw it coming back in 2003: the US invasion of Iraq was an avoidable disaster. It was easy to see it could not work. Now as ISIS swarms Iraq, what can be learned? Can Iraq save itself? Is there really anything the US can do now that might actually work? Guest on this show is Patrick Smith, former bureau chief to the International Herald Tribune and author of several nonfiction books and regular contributor to Salon, the New York Times, the Nation and others. He explains that one can not see reality in Iraq without an understanding of history. There may be some positives: this can be a moment form which we can learn and change. 

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17
Five hundred years may separate the reformation of Martin Luther and the nationalist/populist surge currently taking place in Western Europe, but there are strong connections between the two. On this show, John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus, describes some remarkable similarities. And America's current right wing populists also share some qualities. Like anger and mistrust at central power and bringing decision making back to those most affected. My question is where is the traditional American left populist movement? Many useful lessons are to be learned.

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12
Most of the world seems to think that the State of Israel and Judaism are one and the same. They are not. Where Judaism is thousands of years old and lived for peace with Muslims and Christians in what Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss calls The Holy Land, Zionism is only about a hundred years old and is part of the rise of European nationalism which has caused so much trouble and bloodshed. Weiss insists "the Zionist state conflicts with the basic teachings of Judaism, and is resulting in a rise in anti-Semitism as so many confuse the two. This is one very informative discussion.

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10
Though it's usually thought of as a good thing, the word "tolerance" really falls well short of full inclusion. Instead tolerance actually preserves prejudice and leaves intact inequality. Suzanna Danuta Walters' just published book (right in time for Gay Pride Month)  is called The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality. In a remarkably thought-provoking, and actually fun interview, Walters will leave you with a clearer understanding of how far we still have to go.

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03
If we rely on the mainstream media, the narrative about Ukraine is pretty clear. But investigative historian Eric Zuesse has instead simply used the internet to go to primary sources and found that we are being lied to. The alleged good guys Obama is backing up include some not so nice folks, actual Nazi-types, according to Zuesse. It's all part of a power play and the news reporters are acting more like stenographers for the party line. And now Obama is calling for a big increase in military involvement in the region.

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29
She looked inevitable in 2008, too. But Hillary Clinton as a presidential contender has some serious vulnerabilities. On this show Guy Saperstein, former civil rights attorney, past president of the Sierra Club Foundation, and board member of Brave New Films addresses those weaknesses head on. Not only is she exceptionally hawkish but her connections as a darling of Wall St can not be seen as electability pluses heading into 2016. And her record as secretary of state appears to be rather lacking as well. If Democrats want to win the White House, we might want to look elsewhere.

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27
The fall of Qadaffi and instability in Libya. Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria. The French war in Mali: all these hot spots influence the world and neighboring Niger, another former French colony. On this show NH resident Bess Palmisciano who has been in Niger some 40 times, talks about realities on the ground and her work with Rain for the Sahel and Sahara, and the difference it makes working with and respecting indigenous cultures, specifically the nomadic Tuareg. Even America's war in Afghanistan effects the region.

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22
In old East Germany or the Soviet Union, there was no question the government was watching. Everyone was a suspect. But this is the United States where we still have a fourth amendment in effect that is supposed to protect us from such intrusion into our privacy. On this show conservative Republican Chuck Douglas, who served New Hampshire's second district in congress and was a state Supreme Court justice, talks about the clash between our Constitution and NSA spying. A lot can be done about it, if we the people make noise and keep after candidates.

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20
On May 17, 1954 the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously against "separate but equal" in public schools, recognizing segregation meant inequality. The point was to improve education for impoverished minorities. But today's guest Richard Rothstein argues black children remain more racial;ly and socioeconomically isolated today tha at any time since data have been collected, and that the cycle of poverty continues. He says housing reform is necessary for their to be effective education reform. It is a sobering message, we have a long way yet to go.

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15
On the first half, Chuck Collins, co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, talks about the effects of extreme wealth on democracy and public health and what can be done about it. And on part two, journalist Amanda Marcotte discusses a recent home-school prom in which a teenage girl was kicked out for being too alluring to the teen boys fathers! What are the "proper" roles for young women, according to fundamentalists?

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13
A war on terror is, by definition, a war without end. On this show, Afghan correspondent for the Wall St Journal and Christian Science Monitor Anand Gopal talks about his new book: No Good Men Among The Living; America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes. The NY Times calls it "essential reading for anyone concerned about how America got Afghanistan so wrong." Gopal looks at three representative individuals and finds so many missed opportunities. The war goes on.

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06
Andrew Hemingway is not the party favorite, but the 32 year old Republican is running for governor. On issues of privacy, the threat of a big casino, and the intransigence of our current governor on therapeutic cannabis, I suspect you will like what he has to say. And on the second half of the show, Republican state representative Ted Wright talks about his fight in the legislature for compassionate use of cannabis. It's hard to believe there is opposition, but for now, there is. Of course it is far from over. You can help.

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29
Thousands of people joined the farmers, ranchers, and tribal leaders of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance the week of April 22-26 in Washington DC. They were joined by actor Darryl Hannah and rocker Neil Young. We open with Neil's words to those gathered and then talk with Tom Genung, a rancher from Nebraska whose water from the Ogallala Aquifer is under threat from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry some of the world's dirtiest, most toxic oil under high pressure across the US for use exclusively outside the US.

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24
There's a new religion out there. Up on a pedestal are the new information monopolies, which many believe in as infallible, purely scientific mechanisms that fix humanity's problems better than mere humans. Google and Comcast are the new all-powerful institutions which merely organize the world's information and are the sources of knowledge. Not unlike the Catholic Church of medieval times. In the concluding in a series on the power of the internet, guest on this show is media studies professor Kevin Healey. We ask the question who serves who: the internet or humanity?

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22

Remember when we thought the internet, being "open," might be a leveler of power, putting the tools of creation in everybody's hands equally? The reality is our digital devices are new shackles chaining us to corporate America and to government surveillance. Despite what we expected, the internet has actually enabled greater concentration of power. In a revealing examination of our new digital realities, my guest on this show is Astra Taylor, author of the just released The People's Platform; Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She suggests that the internet be treated as the public utility it has become.

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15
In the 1930s, 2800 American men and women, black and white fought fascism in the prelude to the second world war. The battle was in Spain. They were the legendary brave heroes of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Now none of them are still alive but the spirit and the struggle for human rights lives on. The recipient of the 2014 human rights award goes to Bryan Stephenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Currently there is unimaginable injustice when it comes to carrying out alleged justice; sentencing discrepancies are appalling and very little attention is being paid to the adverse effects the broken system is having on hundreds of thousands of American families. As it was for the Lincoln Brigade, it's an uphill struggle for justice and human rights. But the work is being done. And you can help.

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10
Public education reform was kicked off in 1983 under Ronald Reagan. Not only has it not helped, according to our guest, the drive to put public education in the hands of for-profit interests has greatly weakened education and done real harm to thousands of kids, and weakened our real national security. John Kuhn has been called "America's superintendent." His new book is called Fear and Learning in America: Bad data, Good teachers, and the Attack on Public Education. He discusses the many ways in which our schools are undercutting good teachers with tests run by for-profit institutions. Our republic requires and educated citizenry. But we are slowly, steadily fighting back and making gains. You can help!

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08
When asked what kind government we were to have, a monarchy or a republic, Benjamin Franklin answered: "A republic...if you can keep it." Americans are wondering if we've already lost our republican form of government, first with Citizens United and now with the latest US Supreme Court decision called McCutcheon. According to today's guest, Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause of Massachusetts, this latest decision is a big blow to democracy, but we are not powerless.

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03

The past isn't even the past: questions and debates remain fierce about such things as the locus of legitimate political power: should it be federal or state sovereignty? Did America really ever face up to the evils of slavery? In what ways was the white settlement of the west all about the ticklish balance between north and south? And must America be a country of extreme poverty living side by side with vast wealth? Guest on this show is Brenda Wineapple; her new well reviewed book is Ecstatic Nation. Listen in to life in the mid 19th century.

 

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01

You know it's working when Netanyahu calls supporters of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions "anti-Semites and bigots." If so, then why do so many Jews across the world support this pressure to stop the occupation of Palestinian lands? On the first half of this show, Marjorie Cohn, past president of the National Lawyers Guild talks about BDS and Jewish tradition.

And on the second half Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) talks about factors weighing on his decision about a run for president in 2016. The potential for a new alignment of angry alienated Americans is indeed powerful. If he runs, will it be as a Democrat or Independent? Listen in and see.

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27
Even President Obama had to talk about it, saying income inequality is the "defining challenge of our time." What he's doing about it remains a big question. Have we come to the point where many Americans really care about the new wealth gap? AlterNet columnists and activists Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese are optimistic enough to see a real change happening. More Americans are understanding we can either have a plutocracy or a democracy, we can't have both. And Flowers and Zeese argue electoral politics is not the solution, grassroots activism is. And it's working.

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25
It was March 25, 1989 when the unprecedented oil spill from the Exxon Valdez tanker began polluting the Gulf of Alaska. What have we learned since then? Some call for "Drill Baby Drill," and the political power of the petroleum industry has only increased. Today's guest is John Demos of the Alaska Wilderness Society. Now, though the entire Arctic is under threat, there is some degree of hope for a real change in policy.

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20
A new progressive populist movement is gaining momentum. More and more every day, people are realizing that we are not powerless, that we can successfully take on the moneyed elite that has been manipulating the national economy for their own financial gain. Today's guest, Roger Hickey of Campaign for America's Future talks about the ever increasing evidence that people power does work.

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18

There are reasons why you probably never heard of  the TransPacific Partnership. It has been kept secret because the more Americans learn about it, the less we will like it. Some call the TPP the "Sneaky One Percenter Power Tool." Listen in and learn why, and what you can do. And on the second half, Rick Rosoff  Investigative Journalist for Global Research talks about the effects drones are having on America’s national security. Hint: it’s not good. 

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13
The conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton has the nomination. But can she win? How important is passion to the exceptional vast public momentum needed to achieve victory? Or is it best to stick rigidly to the safe middle? Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders can never be mistaken for a conventional middle of the roader and he has recently said he is "prepared to run for president" in 2016. But is he really just too far left to win? On this examination of the realities of what it takes to win the White House. columnist and political veteran Bill Fletcher Jr makes the case as to why a Bernie Sanders run has a more realistic chance than a run by Hillary.

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11

In 1966 it took real courage to publicly tear up one's draft card. Bruce Dancis was just 18 when he did and he served time in a federal prison for it. He could have just used his student deferment to stay out of the war, but instead took a principled stand to  serve others who didn't have the luxury of that way out of the war in Vietnam. His new book is called: Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison During the Vietnam War, and it's quite a slice of American history, one our mainstream textbooks may not yet cover. It's a version of real patriotism not often considered today.

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06
Suddenly Ukraine is the center of the world's attention. Are there good guys and bad guys? Is the EU and US supporting fascists? Would Ukraine be more secure were Crimea to secede? Can Putin back off? Guest in this important discussion is John Feffer, co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies' Foreign Policy in Focus. And just when it looked like the Crimea crisis may be resolved by a vote of the people, President Obama on 3/6 said that the US would not accept any referendum on the status of Crimea unless passed with the approval of the interim government in Kiev. But many in Crimea fear Kiev more than Moscow. Tune in and you'll know more of what is fear and what is real in the current Ukraine crisis.

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04
Sure there's the glitz and glamor of the Oscars, but the winners of the Progressive Movie Awards have also just been named. These are films which are recognized both for their art and their leading roles in taking on injustice in the world. Guest once again is the James Agee Cinema Circle's Ed Rampell, who writes about movies for The Progressive magazine and has two books out on the history of progressives in Hollywood.

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20
They arrested those who supplied the heroin that killed Philip Seymour Hoffman, but that accomplishes nothing. Heroin is a powerful and dangerous drug, totally unlike cannabis, which practically everyone agrees should be legalized. But what can we do about heroin? On this show, Philip Smith, long time editor of the Drug War Chronicles offers realistic new ideas which can save lives. It is in society's interest to change the way we've tried to deal with heroin. After all, as Smith says, a dead addict can not be rehabilitated.

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18
Political candidates used to send their checks back to NORML, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws. Now lawmakers and wannabes are beating a path to the door of Executive Director Allen St.Pierre.  Suddenly, after decades of trying, even people like John McCain as well as President Obama are moving toward legalization of recreational use of marijuana. St. Pierre reveals that it's all really in the hands of women; they're the ones who finally got alcohol prohibition removed. And he takes a sharp look at Patrick Kennedy's latest grab for the spotlight, revealing the source of SAM's funding. As St.Pierre says, "marijuana is not going to legalize itself," there's much work to be done.

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13
Charity from the super-rich perpetuates the myth that we need to keep them ultra-rich. As HL Mencken wrote: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." It's been with us since feudal times, the many groveling before the few aristocrats for a few crumbs to be tossed their way. On this show, writer and researcher Sean McElwee discusses today's reality and how it could be done better. And please stay with it through the poor audio in the beginning; it does get better!

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11
February 11 was called The Day We Fight Back, but it's really a beginning. Uniquely uniting left with right, opposition to the massive NSA spying program is getting a real head of steam, both at the federal and state level. But it's a federal program you say, what can the states do? Plenty. So says our guest, Shane Trejo of the OffNow.org Coalition top Nullfy the NSA.

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06
The all-American dream of upward mobility is out of reach for more citizens, and the inequality gap in education is a big part of that. Educator Richard Murnane is co-author of Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education. While there is, of course, no easy "silver bullet," Murnane explains in this discussion that a steady and patient focus on realistic means of addressing the problem can yield positive results, and renew the American dream.

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04
To many on the left, Noam Chomsky is nothing short of a hero. Back in 1967, the MIT linguistics professor wrote that it was the intellectuals' responsibility to get involved and not merely parrot the official line from the government. While Chomsky has been a guest on The Burt Cohen Show, today's guest looks at the reality behind the adulation. Anthony Greco's new book is called: Chomsky's Challenge to American Power, and in it, he reveals inconsistencies and serious lapses in Chomsky's intellectual rigor.

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30

Is the dream over? The democratic Israel our parents generation dreamed of is not the right wing Israel we see today.What's happening with Jewish Americans who are under 70? Why does the right wing Israel lobby still have so much power in Washington? Today's guest is MJ Rosenberg, who for may years worked for AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby and for President Clinton and members of congress. The unique perspective from which he sheds light on this subject is remarkably clarifying of this complex situation.

 

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28
Declining super powers, global rebalancing, anbd profound economic inequality. Sounds like 2014. But it is also describing 100 years ago as the world embarked on a horrible world war. Gordon Adams leads the discussion on this show; he is professor of international relations at American University and teaches national security policy and resource planning. He has published widely on defense and national security and defense policy. While there are no exact parallels in history, Adams says we find ourselves in a strange dangerous and oddly familiar era.

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23
Some people believe charter schools may be a silver bullet for what ails our public schools. But what about accountability to the public? Guest today is Jeff Bryant who has written extensively on public education policy as the director of the Education Opportunity Network, who answers questions you may have about charter schools. They may not be all bad, but the trend for outsourcing and privatization should concern you.

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16
Most Americans believe the transformation of our republic into a plutocracy started with the Reagan Presidency. On a speaking tour promoting his new book Who Stole The American Dream, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Hedrick Smith says the power shift actually kicked off  happened in 1971, with a memo from Lewis Powell, later a Supreme Court justice. In this exceptionally lively interview, Smith insists liberals must move to what he calls the center and ally with  billionaire-funded groups called No Labels and The Third Way. It gets lively from there. Some good radio moments await you!

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09

We know it started 100 years ago, and we all thought it ended with the armistice and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. But author and columnist Michael Moran argues the conflicts responsible for the horrific bloodletting remain as alive as ever. In the Middle East, in the Balkans, and in India, Pakistan, and Africa as well, top say nothing of the Versailles-created state of Iraq.

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07

What do you know about the Federal Reserve Bank? Most people assume it is a government institution. It is not. What it is is the bankers' bank, serving the interests of the big banks as it great affects our whole economy. On this show attorney Ellen Brown, president of the Public Banking Institute and author of 12 books including the bestselling Web of Debt, along with her new book The Public Bank Solution talks about what the Fed really is and why it may be time to get it under public control and regulation. Brown says taxpayers can save many billions we nbow pay on interest and greatl;y enhance the common good, while bolstering capitalism.

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19

The cultural and politicval far right claims there's a war on Christmas. Of course it's nonsense. The holiday has been with us for hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus and only morphed into what we see today as Christmas in the last century or so. Here to shed joyful light on this wonderful holiday is the Reverend Selena Fox, a Wiccan priestess, interfaith minister, pagan elder, author, and lecturer in the fields of pagan studies, ecopsychology, and comparative religion. Tune in for a renewal of the spirit!

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17

The world hoped for a different foreign policy toward Central America under President Obama. After the US quickly recognized a coup in 2009, democratic elections were promised for 2013. Well there was an election, of sorts. Journalist Dawn Paley has covered Honduras for many national magazines and on this show, she sheds light on how America's policies are affecting Honduras and our future.

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12

Republicans slam it as "socialism," but the truth is the Affordable Care Act was originally conceived by the Heritage Foundation in 1989 as a "conservative" way to solve what Nixon had called "the healthcare crisis." Detractors trust say the private sector is more efficient, but our guest Jerry Flanagan, lead staff attorney for consumerwatchdog.org knows the new law backward and forward and demonstrates the ACA is far from perfect, as it leaves the insurance industry's power in place, but it is all in all a good first step toward addressing the problems in our current system.

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05

Talk about bravery. More than 10,000 American women in 1917 left their homes to face violence and inequality on the battlefields of the Great War. On part one, author Jo-Ann Power talks about writing her new book Heroic Measures. And on part two, NoMoreFukushimas' Bruce Skud talks about how citizens can help stop a 36 year renewal of the Seabrook NH nuclear license in the face of serious cracks and brittleness in the concrete core.

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03

Freedom of the press was easier to define and protect when quill pens were the mode. Today it's electronic zeroes and ones, and it's a lot more complicated. And the Obama Administration has been aggressively prosecuting journalists; more prosecutions than all prior presidents combined. On this show Michael Winship, senior writer at Moyers and Company, talks about the status of our tradtional freedom in the second decade of the 21st century. There is reason for hope and optimism, thanks largely to internet activism.

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