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Steven Donziger – Episode 28

This week Eric sits down with Steven Donziger, the US spokesman and legal adviser for the Ecuadorian communities suing Chevron over its gross environmental pollution since the 1960s. The case has made international headlines as it is the first of its kind to see indigenous communities winning a judgment against an oil company for environmental degradation. Eric and Steven discuss the specifics of the case and the ways in which Chevron has attempted to use legal maneuvering and trickery to avoid paying a massive settlement to those affected. The conversation also touches on the parallels between this case and others, as well as the long-term effects of the damage caused by Texaco/Chevron. All this and much more in this important episode of CounterPunch Radio.

Intro and outtro by David Vest.

Caleb Maupin – Episode 27

Eric is back from Venezuela this week and oh, the places he’s gone, the stories he’ll tell. Eric welcomes his fellow traveler, activist and political analyst Caleb Maupin, to discuss their experiences in Venezuela during the all-important legislative elections. Eric and Caleb talk about their impressions of the country and the economic crisis afflicting it, as well as recounting their various conversations with ordinary Venezuelans. The discussion touches on everything from geopolitics to the mentality of Venezuelans on Election Day, examining the role of the economic and psychological war waged by the US against the Bolivarian government. Eric and Caleb also provide their analysis of the future for the country with a right wing National Assembly, the potential for open conflict in Venezuela and throughout South America, and much much more in this wide-ranging conversation.

Intro and outtro – “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest
Musical Interlude – “Work Like Chavez” by Rebel Diaz

John Wight – Episode 26

This week Eric welcomes to CounterPunch Radio author, political analyst, and regular CounterPunch contributor John Wight to discuss recent developments in Syria, and the regional geopolitics that inform all events in the Middle East. Eric and John go in depth on the downing of the Russian jet by Turkey, and what that means for the ongoing war in Syria. They address a wide range of issues from the interplay between Wahhabi extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood, to the political development, and regional significance, of Egypt. The conversation also touches on the economic motivations of the interested parties, the role of Israel, Obama vs the Neocons, British politics as related to the war on Syria, and much much more. This far-ranging interview is yet another example of the kind of thing you just don’t find outside CounterPunch.

Intro/Outtro: “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest
Interlude: “Where Were You” by The Mekons

Ajamu Baraka – Episode 25

This week Eric welcomes back to the show political analyst and human rights activist Ajamu Baraka to discuss Turkey’s recent downing of a Russian jet in Syria. Eric and Ajamu examine the details of the incident and the political fallout from it. They discuss how Russia might respond and how this changes (if at all) the ongoing war in Syria, including Russia’s active involvement. Ajamu also explains his reading on the larger political and geopolitical issues stemming from the downing of the jet. All this and much much more this week on CounterPunch Radio.

Intro/Outtro: “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest
Interlude: “I’m a Socialist” by Marcel Cartier

Jia Lee & Mercedes Schneider – Episode 24

This week, Eric sits down with two amazing and inspiring teachers tirelessly working to defend public education from the neoliberal assault being waged against it. First, Eric welcomes to the program Jia Lee, an educator, activist and candidate for President of UFT (United Federation of Teachers) representing the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE). Eric and Jia discuss why she became a conscientious objector to standardized testing, the importance of democratizing and radicalizing the teachers union, and the ways in which public schools have been attacked, undermined, and corporatized.

In the second part of the show, Eric sits down with educator and advocate Mercedes Schneider who is the author of two important books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. Eric and Mercedes examine the rise of charter schools, the de-professionalization of teaching, the insidious effect of Teach for America on the profession, and much more.

Musical interlude: “Chicago Teacher” by Rebel Diaz
Intro and Outtro: “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest

Madhusree Mukerjee & Danny Haiphong – Episode 23

This week Eric welcomes author and journalist Madhusree Mukerjee to the program to discuss her groundbreaking 2010 book Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II. Madhusree discusses her personal and ideological motivations for writing the book, as well as exploring what the Bengal famine and British imperial policy say about the nature of imperialism and colonialism in India and throughout the world. Eric and Madhusree also bring the issues forward our time by probing how the same agricultural policies, engendered by capitalism and profit, are helping to exacerbate poverty, dispossession, and environmental degradation today. Eric and Madhusree don’t shy away from debating the legacies of Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose, and the role of India and the emerging non-Western powers today.

In the second part of the show, Eric is joined by Danny Haiphong, a Boston-based political activist and columnist for Black Agenda Report, to discuss his recent piece on self-determination and political movement-building in the US and the Western world. The conversation touches on current trends, as well as historical exemplars such as the Black Panther Party. Eric and Danny also examine what revolutionary movement-building requires, and what it will look like given the current political and economic climate. All this and much more on this week’s CounterPunch Radio.

Musical Interludes: “Jara cafe te more te bose acho” by Unknown & “Sove Peyi Mwen” by Freedom

Intro and Outtro: “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest

Don DeBar & Laura Carlsen – Episode 22

support this podcast, donate todayThis week, Eric welcomes two brilliant guests to the show. First, Eric speaks with Don DeBar, independent broadcaster and Senior Producer at Community Public Radio (CPRmetro.org). Eric and Don discuss the state of the independent media, and how it has been rapidly transformed in recent years. Don presents an inside account of the corporate takeover and purge of Pacifica Radio and its NYC flagship station WBAI, pulling back the curtain on how Pacifica operates, and why some of its good work has come to be overshadowed by the bad, especially when it comes to issues of war and peace. Eric and Don also touch on the war in Libya and how that exposed much of the media for being aligned with the US-NATO war agenda.

In the second half of the show, Eric welcomes Laura Carlsen, Director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy to the program. Eric and Laura discuss the 2014 Ayotzinapa massacre of student teachers in Mexico, and the obvious government cover-up of the incident. Laura explains what happened in late September 2014, what the circumstances were leading up to the massacre, and the inconsistencies in the initial government investigation. Eric and Laura also discuss neoliberalism and privatization, and how this massacre should be understood as part of a broader political process ongoing in Mexico with direct US involvement.

Musical interlude from Boukman Eksperyans – “Jou Nou Revolte”
Intro & Outtro from David Vest

Jeffrey St. Clair – Episode 21

support this podcast, donate todayThis week, Eric sits down with CounterPunch Editor and political kidney-puncher Jeffrey St. Clair who spins yarns about the early days of CounterPunch and the inimitable Alexander Cockburn, who himself makes a special appearance in this week’s episode in the role of angry thundercloud. Eric and Jeffrey discuss the quietus of journalism and, consequently, the importance of CounterPunch upholding the tradition and legacy of oppositional reporting and analysis. Jeff explains how Bill Clinton and the corporate Democrats served to consolidate the programs and policies of Reagan and the neocons, and how dear comrade Bernie, aka Chairman Sanders, is not exactly a leftist breaking from the party, but more like the party breaking left for a fleeting moment. Eric and Jeff discuss the environment, Gang Green, and the collapse of social movements, while also waxing poetic on the importance of culture in politics. Oh, and also, CounterPunch asks for money. Give us your money.

One of us, one of us! Gooble gobble. Gooble gobble.

Intro and Outtro from David Vest. Musical interlude from The Mekons.

David Macaray – Episode 20

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After a short absence, Eric is back this week with author, labor journalist, and all around enemy of the bosses David Macaray. Grab your hammers and sickles boys and girls as Eric and David discuss the state of labor unions, the importance of militancy and political education, international solidarity, and many other topics to get your pinko commie juices flowing. They debate whether organized labor should try to resuscitate the Democratic Party, or simply poke its corpse with an agitator’s stick. The conversation touches on the role of teachers in the labor movement, internationalism and labor history, as well as what independent organizing by unions would actually look like today.

From the halls of Richard Trumka to the shores of the LAUSD, this week’s CounterPunch Radio leaves no stone unturned…except for those being turned by scab labor…they can go to hell.

Intro and outtro by David Vest. Musical interlude from Billy Bragg.

Michael Hudson – Episode 19

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This week, Eric has an in depth conversation with economist Michael Hudson, author of the new book Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy. Eric and Prof. Hudson discuss the evolution of finance capital from its humble parasitical beginnings to the comprehensive global network of economic tapeworms and barnacles that it is today. They examine neoliberal terrorism, how debt is used as a weapon, and the disastrous effects of the financialization of the real economy. Hudson outlines the relationship between the parasites and their bloodsucking policies of austerity, providing insight using the example of Latvia, where he witnessed first hand the smash-and-grab nature of such prescriptions. Plus, Eric and Michael touch on Obama as Wall Street errand boy, the importance of left economic organizing, and much much more.

Musical interlude from the exciting new band GospelbeacH, and intro and outtro from David Vest.